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Is your employer violating overtime laws?

In previous posts, we've briefly touched on the issue of what both state and federal employment laws have to say regarding overtime. In light of this fact and President Obama's recent overtime proposal -- something we'll explore next time -- today's post will take a more in-depth look at this extremely important topic.

What does Minnesota law have to say about overtime?

Under the Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act, employers are required to pay overtime to employees for every hour worked in excess of a 48-hour period in a seven-day workweek.

Does this requirement only apply to certain employers?

No. All Minnesota employers are legally required to pay overtime regardless of size, location, gross sales, employee designations and methods of compensation.

Are there any employees who are exempt from the state's overtime laws?

Yes. There are certain types of employees who are indeed exempt from the state's overtime laws. While a complete listing of these employees is beyond the scope of a single blog post, some notable exemptions include:

  • Salespeople from out of state
  • Retail and service employees who are paid by commission provided their regular pay rate is greater than one-and-a-half times the minimum wage
  • Agricultural workers earning salaries of at least $588 per week for large employers ($500,000-plus in gross sales per year) or $477.75 per week for small employers (less than $500,000 in gross sales per year)

What does federal law have to say about overtime?

Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, certain employers are required to pay overtime to employees for every hour worked in excess of a 40-hour period in a seven-day workweek.

What types of employers are covered by federal law?

The employers subject to the overtime provisions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act include those with $500,000-plus in gross sales per year, nursing homes, hospitals, schools, government agencies and those whose employees are involved in interstate commerce.

How is overtime calculated?

At a minimum, the overtime paid by an employer must be one-and-a-half times an employee's regular pay rate. The regular pay rate, in turn, is simply the amount the employee earns in a given workweek divided by the number of hours worked.

If you believe that an employer has failed to pay you for overtime or violated your rights in any other capacity, consider speaking with an experienced legal professional as soon as possible.

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