One of the most frequently asked questions we come across is when and how to pay overtime. There are many misconceptions on when overtime is required to be paid to an employee. Please read the following information from the U.S. Department of Labor for a clear understanding of when and how you should pay your employee overtime:

Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

Overtime Pay


The federal overtime provisions are contained in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Unless exempt, employees covered by the Act must receive overtime pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek at a rate not less than time and one-half their regular rates of pay. There is no limit in the Act on the number of hours employees aged 16 and older may work in any workweek. The Act does not require overtime pay for work on Saturdays, Sundays, holidays, or regular days of rest, unless overtime is worked on such days.

The Act applies on a workweek basis. An employee’s workweek is a fixed and regularly recurring period of 168 hours — seven consecutive 24-hour periods. It need not coincide with the calendar week, but may begin on any day and at any hour of the day. Different workweeks may be established for different employees or groups of employees. Averaging of hours over two or more weeks is not permitted. Normally, overtime pay earned in a particular workweek must be paid on the regular pay day for the pay period in which the wages were earned.

General Guidance

Fact Sheets


  • Fair Pay Website — Provides information on the current “white collar” exemptions for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Computer & Outside Sales Employees.
  • Elaws FLSA Advisor — addresses key wage and hour topics, including overtime pay requirements.
  • Coverage and Employment Status Advisor — helps identify which workers are employees covered by the FLSA.
  • Hours Worked Advisor — provides information to help determine which hours spent in work-related activities are considered FLSA “hours worked” and therefore must be paid.
  • Overtime Security Advisor — helps determine which employees are exempt from the FLSA minimum wage and overtime pay requirements under the Part 541 overtime regulations.
  • Overtime Calculator Advisor — computes the amount of overtime pay due in a sample pay period based on information from the user.


Interpretive Guidance


Applicable Laws and Regulations

  • Law
  • Regulations
    • 29 C.F.R. Part 541 — Overtime Exemption Regulations for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Computer & Outside Sales Employees