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What does employment law say about my overtime pay?

Working full time is already a considerable commitment from any employee, especially for people who have families or other obligations, such as school. When employers ask workers to stay for more than the standard 40 hours per week, it is important that they are fairly compensated for their time. However, rather than an individual assuming that he or she is owed overtime pay, it is important to understand how current employment law applies.

The federal Fair Labor Standards Act gives workers the right to overtime pay, which is usually time and a half pay for anything over 40 hours in a single week. Most employers are under the FLSA, although there are some exceptions. If the FLSA does not apply to a person's employer, Wisconsin state laws may apply.

However, simply working for a company covered by the FLSA does not necessarily guarantee overtime pay, as employees must also be considered nonexempt. Nonexempt employees earn less than $23,600 annually, are not salaried and are not in a management position. If a person satisfies the three requirements of nonexempt employment, they most likely qualify for overtime pay. There are exceptions though, and most contract workers, babysitters and employees of small farms cannot receive overtime pay.

Regardless of how passionate a worker may feel about his or her job, wages are no trivial matter. Employees who qualify for overtime pay should receive these wages any time that they are required to work longer than 40 hours in a week. If a Wisconsin employer refuses to pay overtime to a nonexempt employee as per current employment law, he or she may be able to achieve compensation and lost wages through a carefully pursued civil suit.

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