Is it illegal to not get paid overtime pay by a company that normally pays time and a half for OT? ?

I’m specifically asking about New York State/US laws here. The company I work for normally pays time and a half for all hours worked over 40 hours. We have had mandatory overtime for the last 3 months and everything has gone smoothly with pay up until this week. Due to Thanksgiving (a day we have to work) we get paid double time and a half, which is very good. The only problem is that because of this, the company will only pay us straight time (regular pay) for any overtime hours that we work. There is mandatory overtime for us this week, so we are getting paid regular pay for hours that we are forced to work... Is that legal? Any supporting information would be helpful. 

4 Answers

  • 2 months ago

    Perfectly legal.  There is no law that requires double time and a half for holiday hours.  That's something that is entirely up to the company.

    So let's say that you work 12 hours on the holiday. Double time and a half equates to 20 hours pay for a full 8 hour day of work.  Then they pay you straight time for the additional four hours. You are being paid 24 hours pay for 12 hours worked, which amounts to double time for all hours worked - which exceeds the requirement of the law.

  • ?
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    They are correct.  Since you get the double time and a half already on the holiday hours, the OT requirement has been met.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    First of all, unless you have a collective bargaining agreement contract, this is how it works.

    If you do not work Thanksgiving and given holiday pay, those hours are not included in work hours. 

    So, suppose you work 10 hours a day Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday and get paid for Thursday, there is no overtime premium at all. That is 48 hours at straight pay.

    Now, an employer does not have to pay a premium for work on a holiday at all. If you work 50 hours including Thanksgiving, that's 40 x 1 + (10 x 1.5) = 55 hours paid.

    If offering a premium working Thanksgiving, the employer can adjust the amount of premium as long as the total pay for the week is 40 hours straight time and at least time and a half for overtime. 

    The only question is whether everyone who is not working is getting holiday pay and how many total hours you actually work that week. That can get complicated.

    Suppose you work 48 hours including Thanksgiving and everyone is paid for the day even if not working.

    40 hours base pay + 8 x 1.5 + 8 = 60 Hours pay for 48 hours work. If he chooses to 40 hours base plus 8 x 2.5 = 60 Hours pay again for 48 hours work.

    It's only when the week exceeds 48 total hours and the business gives everyone holiday pay for not working that there is any issue to figure out.

    Is a written statement that all workers get holiday pay for not working? Start with that. 

    Let's say its 50 hours at 10x5

    40x1, 10x2.5 = 65 hours pay as his method.

    40x1, 10x1.5, +8 = 63 Hours, so no problem.

    Suppose its 42 Hours in 4 days +8 Thanksgiving where all are paid for the holiday for 50 hours work 

    Now its 40x1 + 8x2.5 + 2 by his method = 62 hours where you should get 63 hours minimum.

    So, start with whether all employees are given the day off with day and you are being asked to work instead, and then how many total hours for the week.

  • 2 months ago

    The federal law regarding overtime is  for hours actually worked. If you work 38 hours during the week and take 8 hours of vacation or holiday time, you haven't actually worked in excess of 40 hours, so the law doesn't require them to pay time and half.

    If your company has a policy of paying you double pay when you work on a holiday (e.g. Thanksgiving), they can effectively fudge around which hours they're paying you double for. If you actually work 45 hours this week, including 9 hours on Thanksgiving, them paying you double rate for those nine hours covers the five hours they're required to pay you time and a half.

    Yes, it ends up making it so that the 'bonus' you get for working on Thanksgiving isn't as good as it would normally be, but what they're doing is not illegal.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.