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How is overtime calculated?

In New York state, most employees are owed overtime pay if they work more than 40 hours in a given week. When calculating overtime pay, a workweek is defined as seven consecutive 24-hour periods. The workweek can be set by the employer, and multiple workweeks may be used for different groups of employees. In some cases, residential employees may not receive overtime until they work 44 hours or more in a workweek.

The rate of overtime pay is set at 1.5 times a worker's regular rate. While an employment contract may stipulate a higher rate for some workers, overtime cannot be withheld by an employer or waived by an employee. A worker's regular rate is determined by taking his or her gross income for the week and dividing that number by the number of hours worked during the week.

Many state, local and federal government workers are not covered by the overtime law. However, those working for a school district in a non-teaching capacity or those working for a non-profit organization are required to be paid overtime if they meet the requirement. All overtime is to be paid on a weekly basis. This means that employees are not granted overtime pay for working longer than normal hours on a particular day of the week.

Employees who are going through wage disputes with their employers may wish to take legal action against their employers. It may be possible to win compensation for back wages as well as punitive damages for wrongful termination if they were fired by their employer as a result of the dispute. An attorney may be able to look at evidence in the case to determine if overtime was wrongfully withheld from an employee.

Source: New York State, "When is overtime pay owed?", November 12, 2014

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