If my drive time rate is paid at minimum wage but my regular wage is at a different rate, at what rate should I get paid for overtime?

For example: my regular rate is $20/hr. My drive time rate is minimum wage ($8/hr). I work about 7 hours a day and drive from client to client throughout the day. My drive time is about 1.5 hours a day, which puts me at around 9.5 hours a day. Should I get paid at my regular rate or minimum rate for overtime?

Asked on November 8, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you work overtime, you are paid overtime calculated based upon your weighted average rate of pay. Note that for overtime, as a general rule, it does not matter how many hours you work in a single day--overtime is paid, under federal law and most states' law, when you work more than 40 hours in a week, regardless of how many hours were worked on a given day.

(Certain states, like CA, may have different rules; CA, for example, requires overtime whenever more than 8 hours in one day. You may wish to repost your question identifying your state for a more definitive answer.)

So...say you work 50 hours in a week, 40 of them at $20.00 per hour, 10 at $8.00 per hour. You earned $880.00 that week at your straight pay rates, for working 50 hours. Your average rate of pay is $880/50 = $17.60/hour. For the 10 hours of overtime, you would actually be paid 1.5 x $17.60/hour, or $26.40 per hour; that means that you should be paid an extra $88.00 that week.

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