Overtime pay (one and one-half times the regular hourly rate received) is due an employee after 40 hours of work in a workweek. Special exceptions apply with respect to certain professions and positions, such as police officers, managers, and hospital and nursing home employees.
An employer can be subject to both federal and state overtime laws because some states have passed overtime laws in addition to federal law. Employees in those states are due the higher amount.
A workweek is designated by seven (7) consecutive days of work and is the basis for calculating overtime pay. Hours worked during the workweek cannot be averaged between more than one workweek. Each workweek stands alone.
However, specially listed professions, such as medical-care employees, police officers, and firefighters, are permitted to be paid on special “alternative work periods.” Law Enforcement & Rescue Personnel >
An employer cannot legally fire an employee or retaliate against her if she sues for unpaid wages. Common examples of retaliation include blacklisting employees who have made FLSA claims, refusing to hire applicants who have made FLSA claims at a previous employment, firing relatives of the employee, reducing job responsibilities, assigning the employee to unpopular job duties or shifts, disciplining the employee out of proportion to past disciplinary practices, refusing raises, or lowering performance evaluations.
Liquidated damages are unpaid back wages, possibly resulting in double the unpaid amount. Employees are generally entitled to liquidated damages and can receive them through a lawsuit against the employer.
Vacation, sick, and holiday pay are not federally regulated. Payment for time not worked must be agreed upon between employer and employee prior to employment.
Severance pay is not regulated. A right to severance pay must be agreed upon by both the employee and employer prior to beginning employment. Otherwise, a fired employee is not due severance pay.
Extra pay for night or weekend work must be agreed upon by the employer and employee since it is not federally regulated. However, if more than 40 hours are worked within the workweek, the employer must follow overtime regulations.