Most workers who are paid an hourly wage and work more than 40 hours in a 7-day work week must be paid overtime. When paying overtime, a business must pay at least one and one-half times the worker’s regular hourly rate. Generally, employers cannot provide “comp” pay instead of paying overtime. For those employers not covered by federal law, Minnesota law requires overtime pay for hours worked in excess of 48 hours per week. Neither federal nor state law requires “differential pay” for work on Saturdays, Sundays, holidays, or night shifts, although some union contracts and employer policies provide for such pay.
There are severe penalties for an employer that does not properly pay overtime. In addition to overtime pay, the employer may be liable for liquidated damages and attorneys’ fees and costs.
There are numerous exceptions to the requirement to pay overtime. Many employers wrongfully classify their employees as “salaried” and therefore do not pay them overtime. Both federal and state laws have detailed regulations to determine whether an employee is exempt from overtime regulations. Whether an employee is actually salaried is not dependent on the job title, it depends upon the employee’s actual job duties. This is true regardless of whether the employer calls them salaried. The following are some of the salaried employee exemptions from overtime:
- Administrative Employees
- Professional Employees
- Employment Law
- Computer Employees
- Outside Sales Employees if they are really selling and not merely representing the company.
- Retail and Service Employees if they earn more than half of their wages per week in commissions.
The regulations governing whether an employee is exempt from overtime are extremely complex. I can help you navigate through these difficult regulations to determine if overtime is required.