What is the law regarding overtime and days off?

I work as a political field organizer. My I am a salaried employee who generally works 50-70 hours a week; I would say 55 on average. I am required to work Monday-Saturday at the least. Am I eligible for overtime pay? I must admit I am ignorant on the laws of overtime pay but from what I can gather working 50-70 hours would usually qualify for some overtime pay. I’m not sure what the rule is for salaried employees. Also, as I said I am required to work Monday-

Saturday, however I am also usually required to work Sundays. My job revolves around hitting my goals and my teams goals. If I, or my team, are short on any goal, I am required to work Sunday as well. I do not get paid overtime for working Sunday and I am not given any other day off in the future. What are my rights to a day off?

Asked on April 30, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Most people think that salaried employees do not get overtime, but that's not quite right: while all employees who are exempt from overtime are salaried, not all salaried staff are exempt. To be exempt from overtime, not only must you be paid a minimum salary (around $26,000), but your job must also meet the criteria for exemption. You can find the criteria for exemption on the U.S. Dept. of Labor website, under "overtime": there are four main tests (and several other ones for certain specialized jobs). Compare your job to those tests: if you earn enough money and your job meets one or more of the tests (there is some overlap), you don't get overtime.
BUT if your job does not meet any of those tests, then even though you are salaried, you should get overtime for working more than 40 hours in a week. Calculating overtime for a salaried employee can be complicated, but to provide a simple example: say you earn $40,000 per year, and let's use a 50 week year for ease of calcuations: you earn $800 per week. Use a 40 hour base work week: your equivalent hourly rate is $20/hour. Say you work 55 hours per week: for the 15 hours over 40, you should get a premium equal to 50% of your base hourly equivalent, or another $10/hour, or another $150.00.
If you should have been getting overtime but did not, you can file a wage and hour complaint with the federal or state dept. of labor, seeking back overtime for, I believe, up to the last two years.

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