Texas Labor Laws Regarding Working Overtime

By James Rada, Jr.
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Texas law defers to the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act in deciding overtime issues. The Texas Workforce Commission handles the labor issues and workforce development in the state. Employers and employers can have any of their questions about overtime pay answered by workers at the Texas Workforce Commission.

More than 40 Hours

Overtime must be paid to any nonexempt employee who works more than 40 hours in a work week. Though a work week can begin on any day of the week, it is determined as seven consecutive days or 168 consecutive hours. Overtime is not required to be paid on weekends or holidays. If employees are paid every two weeks, hours cannot be averaged over two weeks. Overtime is to be paid by the work week.

Time and a Half

The minimum amount of overtime that can be paid to an employee is time-and-a- half or 1.5 times the employee's normal hourly wage. All hours worked during the work week must figure into the calculation to determine the total amount of overtime for a given work week. If the employee has different rates of pay, the base rate is the weekly 40-hour total divided by 40.

Who Gets Overtime

Non-exempt employees must be paid overtime. The Texas Workforce Commission lists 41 reasons that your position may be considered exempt and therefore not eligible for overtime. If the non-exempt employee is allowed to work overtime, then overtime must be paid. Even if the employer announces that no overtime will be paid, if employees work more than 40 hours in a work week, overtime must be paid.

Recovering Unpaid Overtime

Texas has a two-year statute of limitation to allow employees to recover unpaid back overtime. If the employer knowingly violated the overtime law, then employees can go back three years to recover unpaid overtime. If employees are owed unpaid overtime, they should file a complaint with the Texas Workforce Commission. While employers can require you to work mandatory overtime, they cannot require you to waive your overtime premium.

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