Most workers are entitled to overtime wages at one-and-one-half their regular rate of pay. So your own overtime rate depends on how much your regular rate is.
How Do I Calculate My Regular Rate & Overtime Wages?
Some workers, those who make salaries or get paid on a piece rate basis, will have to recalculate their regular rate every week to make sure they’re being paid overtime properly. Others won’t.
How Much Is Overtime Pay With An Hourly Wage?
If you normally make the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, you should make $10.88 for every hour worked over 40 in a week.
The same basic process applies to workers who make the same hourly wage all the time, and make all their money from that cash wage.
If you get paid $10 per hour and work overtime, your regular rate is $10 and your overtime wage should be $10 times 1.5, or $15 an hour.
We’ve made an overtime calculator to do the math for you.
How Much Is Overtime With Tips?
Workers who regularly make more than $30 in tips every week are considered “tipped employees.” Employers are allowed to take a “tip credit,” essentially reducing their cash wage obligations below the federal minimum wage.
But your hourly tips plus your hourly cash wage can never fall below the minimum.
For overtime, employers have to use the minimum wage, not the cash wage they actually pay, to calculate your regular rate.
Here’s an example:
You make good tips, so your employer takes the maximum tip credit allowed under federal law: $5.12. That means she pays you $2.13 in cash wages for every hour you work.
One week, you work 46 hours.
- First multiply the minimum wage of $7.25 by 1.5 to get $10.88.
- Then subtract the tip credit from that number. $10.88 minus $5.12 equals $5.76. That’s your overtime wage.
- Now multiply your overtime wage, $5.76, by your overtime hours, 6, to get $34.56. That’s how much you’re entitled to.
Employers who use the cash wage they actually pay tipped workers to calculate overtime are breaking the law.
Federal law allows you to file a lawsuit against your employer for double the wages you’re owed, and prohibits any kind of retaliation. Learn more about how a wage and hour attorney can help you get back the money you’ve lost, check out our FAQ.
How Much Is Overtime On A Salary?
If you get paid a salary (and some salaried employees are still entitled to overtime), you’ll start by dividing how much you make in a week by how many hours your salary is meant to cover, or how many hours you actually worked if your salary just covers all hours.
If Your Salary Pays For A Specific Number Of Hours
Here’s an example:
Let’s say you get paid a salary of $425 every week, just below the FLSA’s exempt level of $455 a week.
Your employment contract says that the $425 you make is meant to compensate you for 38 hours of work. One week you work 48 hours, 8 hours over 40. You’re entitled to extra pay; here’s how to calculate your overtime wage:
- First divide your weekly salary, $425, by the hours covered by your salary, 38, to get $11.18. That’s your regular rate.
- Next multiply that regular rate, $11.18, by 1.5 to get your overtime rate, $16.77.
- Now let’s put it all together –
You normally work 38 hours, and get paid your regular salary of $425 for those hours. For the extra hours that bump you up to 40, you get paid at your regular rate of $11.18, for a total of $22.36. Then, for the 8 hours over 40, you get paid at your overtime rate. That’s 8 times $16.77 or $134.16.
$425 plus $22.36 plus $134.16 equals $581.52.
If Your Salary Pays For All Hours, No Matter How Many
If you get paid a salary but your hours vary from week to week, you might get paid what’s called “Chinese overtime.”
Under specific conditions, employers are allowed to pay their workers one-half the regular rate for overtime. Sometimes this is legal and sometimes it’s not.
Let’s say you get paid $400, no matter how many hours you work. One week you work 50 hours, 10 over the 40 hour limit:
- Divide your salary, $400, by your hours, 50, to get $8. That’s your regular rate for the week.
- Next multiply your regular rate, $8, by 0.5, to get $4. That’s your overtime wage.
- Now multiply your overtime hours, 10, by your overtime wage, $4, to get $40.
- Finally add your salary, $400, to your overtime wages, $40, to get $440. That’s how much you’re entitled to for the week.
Do you get paid “Chinese overtime”? You may be the victim of wage theft. To learn when this scheme is legal and when workers are entitled to more, click here.
How Much Is Overtime For Piece Work?
If you get paid on a piece-rate basis, just add up all the money you were paid for the week and divide that amount by the hours you actually worked. That’s your regular rate. Next multiply your regular rate by 1.5 to get your overtime wage.
The calculation doesn’t take your actual piece-rate into account.
Thank you! It was such a relief to know that Wage Advocates were working hard to get me compensation for my unpaid overtime."Rating: 5.0 ★★★★★