Who is Eligible for Overtime Pay?

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Update: A federal judge has temporarily blocked the overtime rules scheduled to go into effect on December 1, 2016. The Labor Department has appealed the decision. The current overtime pay guidelines will remain in effect until the situation is resolved.

Current Overtime Pay Guidelines

Who is eligible for overtime pay? Under the current FairPay overtime rules, workers earning less than $23,660 per year ($455 per week) are guaranteed overtime protection.

However, there are some categories of employees who are exempt from overtime pay, and the criteria for eligibility will change in December, 2016.

Review information on current overtime pay requirements, workers who don't have to be paid overtime and proposed changes in the salary levels for eligibility for overtime.

Overtime Pay

According to the Department of Labor, unless exempted from the overtime regulations, employees covered by the Act must receive overtime pay for hours worked in excess of 40 in a work week at a rate not less than time and one-half their regular rates of pay.

Possible Changes in Overtime Pay Guidelines

President Obama issued an executive order in 2014 directing the Department of Labor to review policies regarding who was exempt from overtime pay.  The President specifically wanted to review the threshold for overtime pay with an eye towards significantly increasing the minimum salary at which workers could be ruled as exempt from overtime provisions.

 An increasing number of workers have been classified as exempt due to wage inflation since the standard was last set in 2004.

The following changes were scheduled to go into effect on December 1, 2016:

  • The salary for eligibility for overtime pay will increase to $455 per week to $913 per week or $47,476 per year.

  • The salary threshold for eligibility will be updated every three years, based on wage growth.

An estimated 4.2 million additional workers will be classified as non-exempt under the new provisions. Non-exempt workers are guaranteed overtime pay. 

Exemptions for Overtime Pay

The rules under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA) also have overtime exemptions for "highly compensated" employees who customarily and regularly perform any one or more of the exempt duties or responsibilities of an executive, administrative, or professional employee.

A variety of other categories of workers are exempt from overtime pay such as boat and aircraft salespersons, railroad employees, newspaper delivery workers, babysitters, and companions for the elderly.

The rules also state that police officers, firefighters, paramedics, and other so-called "first responders" are entitled to overtime pay.

For more information visit the Department of Labor website:

Overtime Calculator
Use this Overtime Calculator from the United States Department of Labor to help you figure out if you're eligible for overtime pay and to calculate how much overtime you will receive for a sample pay period.

Read More: How Much Do I Get Paid for Overtime?