Overtime FAQs

What is the Overtime Pay Rate?

The Fair Labor Standards Act and various state laws require employers to pay workers "time-and-a-half" for all overtime hours worked in a given week. That means that an employee who typically makes $10 an hour must be paid $15 per hour for overtime. If you believe that you did not receive your proper pay, our Chicago overtime lawyers can help you bring a claim.

When Can I Start Earning Overtime Pay?

Overtime pay typically kicks in for all hours worked beyond 40 in a given week. Workers are generally not entitled to overtime pay simply for working on weekends or holidays, nor for working a high number of hours in a single day, unless this pushes the employee over the 40-hour threshold.

Am I Eligible for Overtime?

A worker's eligibility for overtime pay depends on how the individual is categorized under the FLSA and other laws. Workers are generally divided into two categories: "exempt" and "non-exempt." Only "non-exempt" workers are legally entitled to overtime pay.

Exempt employees are typically those in professional and administrative jobs, such as lawyers, doctors, accountants, outside sales professionals and technology workers. Certain seasonal and domestic service jobs are also exempt. Courts typically look at a worker's specific job duties, rather than general job title, in determining exempt status.

Who Decides Whether I am FLSA Exempt?

While your employer must make an initial determination as to exempt status in deciding whether you are eligible for overtime, the decision can be complicated and employers often get it wrong. A worker who is wrongly classified as exempt may miss out on the opportunity to earn overtime pay.

What if I Make Tips?

Although tipped employees (those who regularly receive more than $30 per month in tips) may be paid at a lower wage than the federally mandated minimum ($7.25 an hour), many of these workers are still eligible for overtime pay. The overtime rate for tipped employees is typically based on the federal minimum wage.

What if I'm Paid A Salary?

Salaried workers are also entitled to overtime pay for all hours worked after 40, assuming that the employee is classified as non-exempt under the FLSA.

Can My Employer Compensate Me For Overtime with Something Other Than Money?

No. The law currently requires private employers to compensate their workers for overtime hours with overtime pay. A private employer may not offer "comp time" in lieu of additional pay for overtime. Public sector workers, however, may be given comp time instead of overtime pay.

How Can I Recover Unpaid Overtime I Am Owed?

The FLSA and state laws allow a worker who has been wrongly denied overtime - whether by being misclassified, required to work off the clock, or simply not being paid - to sue his or her employer for unpaid wages as well as other damages and penalties. It is important to keep in mind that the laws protect a worker who sues his or her employer for unpaid overtime from retaliation in various forms, including firing and demotion.

What Should I Do if I Think I've Been Wrongly Denied Overtime Pay?

Contact an experienced labor and employment attorney who can examine your case, help you weigh your options, and negotiate with your employer when possible.

At the Chicago Overtime Law Center, our lawyers are dedicated to ensuring that workers are paid for the time they put in at their jobs. Representing clients in state and federal court, our overtime lawyers have successfully obtained results in excess of $1 million. Contact us online or call (312) 869-4095 to schedule a free and confidential consultation with a Chicago overtime attorney.