CalculatorQ. We have a number of non-exempt employees who are nevertheless paid a salary. How do we calculate overtime for these employees? 

A. The question above is a positive sign, because if you find yourself asking it you’ve passed the first hurdle of realizing that not all “salaried” employees are exempt from the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act. 

Generally speaking, calculating overtime is a simple affair. Employees must be compensated for hours worked in excess of forty hours in a single workweek at a rate of one and one-half times the employee’s regular hourly rate of pay. The “regular rate” is calculated by dividing an employee’s total non-overtime compensation for the week by the total number of hours worked. For employees who are paid a simple hourly rate, this calculation is simple, as the regular rate is simply the employee’s normally hourly rate of pay.

However, things get trickier when a non-exempt employee is paid a salary. Suppose Chuck is paid a salary of $1000 per week. He works 50 hours in a certain week – 40 hours of straight time, and 10 hours of overtime. To calculate Chuck’s overtime pay, you need one more crucial piece of information: how many hours is the $1000 salary intended to cover? 

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