Question: Should overtime be paid for time worked over 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week or 80 hours per pay period?
Answer: In New Jersey, non-exempt employees must be paid overtime for time worked in excess of 40 hours in a week, irrespective of the employer’s pay cycle.
Employers that pay bi-weekly or semi-monthly should not base overtime upon hours worked in the full pay period.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law that states an employer must establish a workweek (7 consecutive 24-hour periods) and must pay overtime when hours worked exceed 40 in the workweek. The practice of paying overtime only after 80 hours in a bi-weekly pay period (or 86.67 in a semi-monthly pay period) is illegal since each workweek must stand alone.
For example, if an employee works 42 hours in the first week and 38 hours in the second week, the employee is entitled to 2 hours of overtime compensation for the first week, even though the average of both weeks is 40 hours and the employee did not work a full 40 hours in the second week.
Make sure your time and attendance software is set up to pay your overtime hours per week to avoid New Jersey wage and hour violations.
Keep in mind, some states have daily overtime laws where overtime must be paid for hours worked over 8 in a day, but New Jersey follows the federal standard of 40 hours in a week. Also, there are exceptions for certain medical professionals and public-sector workers.
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DISCLAIMER: The material presented on this page is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or legal opinion