How is the payment of overtime calculated?

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How is the payment of overtime calculated?

I am a nurse. The company that I work for runs its pay week from Saturday to Friday. I am employed by this home care company as a “full-time substitute school nurse”. Generally working M-F approximately 40 hours (varies with the assignment). I frequently also work a case on weekends. My pay rate for the weekday position is significantly higher than the case that I work on the weekend. When I work the weekend case and work more than a 40 hour workweek, they pay me overtime on the weekend case (even though Saturday is the beginning of their work week). My understanding of the law was that the first 40 hours is paid regular time, and then the hours past 40 are to be considered the overtime. When I have asked why they pay me overtime on the first 8 hours of the workweek, they tell me that these hours are the ones that are “extra” from my regular assignment M-F. I think it is because my salary rate is $4 an hour less. They have even paid me 15 hours overtime on the weekend case when I only worked 8 hours at that case.

Asked on December 1, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) You are correct in that overtime is paid on any and all hours worked past 40 in a workweek, regardless of when those hours are worked. (i.e. overtime is based  only on total number of hours, not on weekend vs. weekday, night vs. day, etc.).

2) Overtime is 1.5x (or time-and-a-half) of your "base rate." If you are paid at different rates during the week, the base rate will be a blend. For example: say you work 32 hours at $15 per hour and 18 hours at $10 per hour. Your pay for that week is (32 x 15) + (18 x 10) = 480 + 180 = $660. Your rate is determined by dividing your total pay by the total hours, 50, to get a rate of 660/50 = $13.20 per hour. The 10 overtime hours would be then be paid at 1.5 x $13.20, $19.80/hour.

So a lower pay rate for part of your work week will lower your rate slightly, but not all the way down to the lower rate.


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