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When should you be paid overtime on salary?

On Behalf of | Nov 12, 2021 | Employment Law |

When your employer came to you and said they wanted to put you on salary, you were excited. You were moving up into management, and you’d have more regular paychecks for, potentially, less work each week.

What ended up happening, though, is that you found yourself working over 40 hours a week to get educated in the role. You spent extra time there on the weekends, people called you at home and you were generally never really off the clock.

Unfortunately, there is no upper limit to the amount of time your employer can ask you to work when you’re on salary. However, there are laws that provide some salaried employees with overtime compensation once they go over 40 hours. Additionally, those who work fewer than 40 hours usually cannot have their salaries reduced.

Overtime pay for salaried employees

When an employee is salaried, the total salary will determine if they should be paid overtime for working over 40 hours a week. The federal regulations set on January 1, 2020, has set a $35,568 salary threshold for the white collar exemption, which means that those on a salary less than this amount can still get overtime. Those earning more than $35,568 will usually not get overtime.

If you are earning less than $35,568 and have not been paid overtime, it may be worth talking to the human resources department or your employer to determine why you haven’t been. Sometimes, there are overlaps in pay periods or other issues with how your weekly hours are tracked that may be confusing, so it’s a good idea to talk about your concerns first.

If you believe that you are not being paid overtime that you deserve, then you may be able to pursue a legal route to getting that compensation. Wage claims are sometimes necessary to hold employers accountable for not following Massachusetts state laws or federal guidelines.

Keep your paystubs, track conversations with HR and make sure you keep detailed records of the time you work. That way, you’ll have what you need if you intend to make a claim in the future.