Labor FAQs – Wage and Hour

Q: Do employees have to be paid overtime for work on Saturday, Sunday or holidays?

A: No. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, all that matters for those employees who are non-exempt from overtime is whether they work more than 40 hours in a workweek. If they work a 40 hour workweek, including a Saturday, Sunday and holiday in that week, no overtime is owed.

Q: If an employee is paid an hourly rate, does the employee have to receive the same hourly rate for all hours worked in that week?

A: No, an employer may actually mix hourly rates in a given workweek, provided that the average hourly rate for all hours is at least the minimum wage and one and one-half times that rate for overtime. For example, if an employee earns $8.00 an hour performing one job and then receives $4.00 an hour performing other job tasks for the same employer, the $4.00 an hour rate is acceptable provided that for all hours worked up to 40 in that week, the employee has earned an average at least $5.15 per hour.

Q: When calculating overtime, do you have to include hours that are paid for but not worked, such as holidays and vacation?

A: No, all that matters for overtime calculations are the hours that are actually worked. For example, if an employee works 40 hours in a week and then is paid an additional 8 hours for a holiday, no overtime is owed.

Q: May an employer dock the salary of an exempt employee without destroying the exemption?

A: Only under very limited circumstances. For example, if an exempt employee is absent for Family and Medical Leave Act reasons, the pay may be prorated. Other examples include if an employee exhausts all accrued sick days and is absent for at least a full day or commits a major safety rule violation. Otherwise, an exempt employee’s pay may not be docked or prorated for disciplinary reasons or if there is a reduction in hours worked during that work week.

Q: Are non-exempt employees required to punch a clock?

A: No. However, the Fair Labor Standards Act requires an employer to keep an accurate record of hours worked by those employees who are non-exempt. It is up to the employer to choose the method for keeping track; it must be accurate and consistent, but there is not one method required by law compared to others.