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Overtime Eligibility: Should You Be Paid More for 40+ Hours?

Overtime Eligibility: Should You Be Paid More for 40+ Hours?

Whether Georgia and federal employment laws require your employer to pay overtime depends on whether you are a qualified worker and whether your employer is a covered employer. Any employer engaged in interstate commerce must abide by federal wage and overtime rules. Federal law classifies any business with revenues of more than $500,000 per year as a business engaging in interstate commerce.

Wage and hour laws cover most — but not all — hourly employees. Exempt workers include independent contractors, external salespeople, some transportation and agriculture workers, and some live-in employees such as nannies or housekeepers. Businesses do not have to pay overtime wages to executives, administrators or other professionals earning at least $455 per week. Wage and overtime laws cover almost everyone who engages in manual labor of any sort, as well as all first responders — police, paramedics and firefighters.

If you work more than 40 hours in any given week — defined as seven consecutive days, not as a regular calendar week — you become entitled to overtime pay. Georgia's overtime minimum wage is $10.88 per hour, or one and a half times Georgia's regular minimum wage of $5.15 per hour.

If you earn more than Georgia's minimum wage — most people do, as the federal minimum wage is now $7.25 per hour — and you work more than 40 hours per week, you become entitled to at least one and a half times your regular hourly wage for each hour worked over 40. Because in Georgia, unlike many other states, you qualify for overtime based on your hours in a given week rather than your hours on any given day.

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