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The basics of overtime pay for Georgia employers

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) governs when a Georgia employer is required to pay employees extra for hours worked over and above 40 hours in a work week.  Not receiving overtime pay is a common complaint of many workers.  Knowing the basics of who is entitled to time-and-a-half and when could help companies avoid such complaints.

Employees covered under the FLSA -- ordinarily workers who are paid by the hour -- are entitled to overtime pay anytime they work more than 40 hours in any given workweek.  Just because an employee works on weekends, holidays or other days an employee would not usually work, does not automatically mean he or she is entitled to time-and-a-half.  It is only when an employee exceeds the standard number of hours that the requirement must be met.

Overtime pay is calculated based on the average of an employee's hourly rate.  The FLSA prescribes how to calculate that hourly rate under different circumstances.  For instance, if an employee performs multiple functions that are paid at different rates, the average of those rates is used.  If an employee is paid a flat rate for a workweek longer than 40 hours, overtime pay may still be applied to all hours over 40.  The FLSA also does not allow employees to waive their right to this additional pay.

This is just an overview of the FLSA rules, and more information can be found here.  When a Georgia business hires an employee, the issue of overtime pay should be addressed at that time.  Both the company and worker need to clearly understand how such pay will be assessed and when.  Such understandings should be documented in order to avoid any confusion in the future.  Taking these measures could help a company defend itself if a worker claims he or she was not paid correctly.

Source: dol.gov, "Fact Sheet #23: Overtime Pay Requirements of the FLSA", , Sept. 26, 2014

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