Worker compensation usually comes in one of two forms. Salaried workers receive the same pay every week that adds up to an annual salary regardless of how many hours they work in a specific pay period. Hourly workers may receive vastly different paychecks every time they get paid because they only receive wages based on the exact number of hours they work.
Hourly workers have a right to overtime pay if they work more than 40 hours in a specific workweek. Most salaried workers are exempt from overtime pay, which means they won’t make any more money if they put in many hours of overtime.
How do you know if you have the right to request overtime pay as a salaried worker?
Overtime pay requirements apply to workers with lower salaries
Some employers will try to abuse the exemption offered to salaried workers by demanding overtime while paying their staff as little as possible. To prevent these kinds of abuses, the federal government establishes a minimum salary that a worker must receive to be exempt from overtime pay requirements.
Salaried workers need to make a competitive or living wage to actually be exempt from overtime pay requirements. You qualify to receive overtime pay if you don’t make at least $684 per week or $35,568 per year.
Notifying your employer that you deserve overtime for shifts you have already worked could result in you receiving the pay you deserve. You could also face retaliation, or your employer could refuse to pay you those wages. Knowing your rights can make it easier for you to stand up to your employer about your unpaid overtime wages.