Labor laws commonly determine the number of hours per week that are considered full-time employment. When a person works more hours than this, she may be entitled to wages that are known as overtime pay. These wages are usually higher than those that an employee would receive for her normal hours worked. The payment of overtime wages is normally required by law for certain categories of employees, but there are others who may be excluded from the requirement.
It is common to find that laws require employees to be considered full-time if they work for a specified number of hours on a regular basis. For working those hours, employees are usually paid a certain rate. If they work additional time, employee law commonly requires that they receive overtime pay. The reason that these wages are classified in their own category is because the rate generally increases for this extra labor.
For example, Stacy may live in a place where an employee is considered full time if she works 35 hours per week. Stacy may normally work full time as a paralegal for $15 US Dollars (USD) per hour. There may come a time when Stacy is assisting with several difficult cases that require her to work 50 hours for a few weeks. The additional 15 hours should be subject to overtime pay.
In many cases, overtime pay is also called time and a half. This is because the rates for overtime labor are often one and a half times a person's normal hourly rate. Applying this to Stacy's case, she would be paid $15 USD per hour for 35 hours of work and $22.50 USD per hour for the remaining 15 hours.
Employers do not usually have a choice whether they want to remit overtime pay. They also lack the authority to determine how much money employees should be paid for additional labor. Employee law usually requires that certain employees be paid for overtime, and the law also outlines the method for calculating the rates. When an employee looks at her pay stub, she should find regular wages and overtime pay itemized separately.
Although labor laws can vary from one jurisdiction to another, there are generally some people who do not qualify for overtime pay due to the nature of their work. Common examples include agricultural workers, fishermen, and flight attendants. If an employer violates the law and does not provide overtime pay to an employee who qualifies for it, he may face a stiff penalty.