Mandatory Overtime: The Overtime Laws in Each State
Every state has certain laws regarding mandatory overtime. It’s important to understand the overtime laws in your state to avoid issues with payroll and remain compliant in your management practices. But first, let’s understand the basics of overtime.
What Is Forced or Mandatory Overtime?
Mandatory overtime, often referred to as “forced overtime,” is defined as any hours above the U.S. standard 40-hour workweek that an employer makes compulsory.
Federal Mandatory Overtime Laws
In general, federal mandatory overtime laws follow guidelines set by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA establishes the primary regulations for overtime pay affecting employees working in the private sector, as well as in federal, state, and local governments. The FLSA outlines the following guidance about overtime:
- Nonexempt employees must receive overtime pay for hours worked over the 40-hour workweek.
- Pay for overtime must be a minimum of 1.5 times the regular rate of pay.
- There are no limits to the number of hours employees 16 years old and older can work during a workweek, other than the fact there are obviously a finite number of hours in a workweek.
- Overtime pay is not required on weekends or holidays unless overtime is worked on those days.
Learn move about Exempt vs. Nonexempt Employees in our complete guide.
Frequently Asked Questions About Working Overtime
#1 Is Mandatory Overtime Legal?
Generally, mandatory overtime is legal as long as the employer remains compliant with FLSA guidelines, which include 1.5 times normal wage for any hours worked over 40; it does not present worker endangerment; and it does not breach a contract (i.e. a union contract).
Though requiring working overtime might be legal, it is not always recommended for employers due to the impact it can have on employee morale, retention, and risk for employee injury.
#2 Can an Employer Force Employees to Work Overtime?
Current U.S. federal laws define employer regulations for requiring employees working overtime. There is no limit to the maximum number of hours that an employer can require employees to work in a week, but they must pay a premium rate for overtime hours worked.
#3 How Much Overtime Can an Employer Require?
The FLSA, which establishes the 40-hour workweek, does not establish a maximum limit on the number of hours employers can require employees to work.
#4 Does an Employer Have to Pay Overtime After 40 Hours?
Unless an exempt employee, an employer is required under FLSA to compensate for all overtime hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek at a rate of at least 1.5 times the employee’s regular rate of pay.
#5 Can an Employee Refuse Overtime at Work?
In some states, employers can penalize employees who refuse to work despite a lack of threat to their safety and health as long as they receive 1.5 times their regular pay for every hour exceeding their workweek, as per the FLSA.
#6 Can an Employee Be Fired for Not Working Overtime?
In short, yes. Employers may penalize employees who refuse to work required overtime. Though the penalties can vary by employer, there are no federal guidelines for employer penalties on employees refusing to work mandatory overtime. In some cases, employees may be subject to discipline, reassignment, demotion, or even discharge.
#7 Can an Employer Make Employees Work Overtime Without Notice?
Employers can require nonexempt employees to work beyond their 40-hour workweek hours without any notice, such as requiring employees to work another shift without any notice.
Overtime Laws by State
A majority of state overtime laws are similar to federal laws in that they don’t put a restriction on the number of overtime hours employers can add to employee schedules.
On the other hand, certain states have laws in place requiring periodic meal and rest breaks after employees have worked for a set number of consecutive hours, overtime exemptions, and industry-specific employee protections.
Here’s a breakdown of how overtime laws work in all 50 states:
Alabama Overtime Laws
Overtime laws in Alabama follow the federal FLSA, which means employers are required to pay at least time and a half as “premium pay” for hours in excess of the traditional 40 per week to nonexempt employees. For more details about Alabama's mandatory overtime laws, visit the Federal Minimum Wage website.
Alaska Overtime Laws
Manufacturing or commerce employers with more than four employees on staff can provide overtime pay. Overtime minimum wage in Alaska is $15.51 per hour, which is typical time and a half pay as Alaska has a minimum wage of $10.34 per hour. For additional information about mandatory overtime laws in Alaska, visit the state’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development Federal Minimum Wage website.
Arizona Overtime Laws
Federal laws apply to Arizona’s mandatory overtime and cost-of-living adjustment. Nonexempt employers must pay their employees time and a half for all hours worked in excess of a 40-hour workweek. You can find out more information about overtime laws in Arizona over at the Arizona Department of Administration and Human Resources.
Arkansas Overtime Laws
Arkansas labor laws for mandatory overtime pay state that overtime is applicable to employers with four or more employees who make at least a minimum wage of $9.25/hour. Employers are required to pay time and a half to these employees who work in excess of 40 hours. Learn more about mandatory overtime laws in Arkansas at the Arkansas Department of Labor website.
California Overtime Laws
Mandatory overtime laws in California also require nonexempt employees to receive pay of time and a half if they exceed 40 hours in a workweek. Additionally, California has a double time rule to their overtime law stating that employees can also earn double time after working over 12 hours in a single day or working over eight hours on the seventh day of the workweek. You can check out the California Department of Industrial Relations website for more information.
Colorado Overtime Laws
According to mandatory overtime laws in Colorado, cost-of-living adjustments apply to minimum wage, which only applies to the food and beverage, retail, health, and services industries. Colorado is also one of four states with daily overtime pay laws, which means employers must pay employees time and a half of their regular rate of pay for any excess work completed after (1) 40 hours per workweek, (2) 12 hours per work day, or (3) 12 consecutive hours regardless of starting and ending time of the workday (excluding duty-free meal periods), whichever provides the greater payment of wages. For more details about Colorado’s overtime laws, visit the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment website.
Connecticut Overtime Laws
Mandatory overtime laws in Connecticut require overtime pay of time and a half, and if the federal minimum wage matches or exceeds the state’s, Connecticut’s minimum wage will increase by 0.5% above the new federal minimum wage. For more details about Connecticut’s overtime laws, visit the Connecticut Department of Labor website.
Delaware Overtime Laws
Overtime laws in Delaware also adhere to federal laws, but the state’s minimum wage will increase to match any increase in federal wage. To learn more about mandatory overtime laws in Delaware, visit FindLaw.
District of Columbia Overtime Laws
The FLSA applies to overtime laws in the District of Columbia, but if the federal minimum wage exceeds the state’s, the state minimum wage is required to increase by $1. For more information about overtime laws in Washington, D.C., visit the Office of the Attorney General’s website.
Florida Overtime Laws
Minimum wage is increased on an annual basis in Florida, based on adjustments for the cost of living. Federal overtime laws apply in this state when it comes to labor laws and mandatory overtime in Florida.
Georgia Overtime Laws
Federal laws apply to overtime laws in Georgia, and the federal minimum wage is required if the state’s wage is less than the federal minimum. FindLaw can provide more details about mandatory overtime laws in Georgia.
Hawaii Overtime Laws
In accordance with overtime laws in Hawaii, employees guaranteed at least $2,000 a month are exempt from the state’s overtime and minimum wage laws. Employers who are covered by the FLSA are also exempt as long as the state’s minimum wage is lower than the federal minimum. Overtime exemptions include employees in the seasonal agricultural, sugar cane, dairy, livestock/poultry, or horticultural processing industries. Visit the Hawaii Wage Standards Division site for more information about mandatory overtime laws in Hawaii.
Idaho Overtime Laws
As with most other states, overtime laws in Idaho adhere to the FLSA. If you would like to learn more about mandatory overtime laws in Idaho, view Idaho DOL’s labor law guide.
Illinois Overtime Laws
Mandatory overtime is available for employers if they have four or more employees. Overtime pay is set at 1.5 times the regular minimum wage for Illinois. Learn more about mandatory overtime laws in Illinois by visiting the Illinois Department of Labor site.
Indiana Overtime Laws
Indiana is yet another state that adheres to the FLSA, requiring employers to pay employees 1.5 times pay if they work over 40 hours a week. Learn more about mandatory overtime laws in Indiana by visiting the Indiana Department of Labor site.
Iowa Overtime Laws
The FLSA also applies to overtime laws in Iowa. The state’s minimum wage will increase to match the federal wage. Learn more about mandatory overtime laws in Iowa by visiting the state’s Division of Labor FAQs.
Kansas Overtime Laws
Employers covered by FLSA are exempt from state law, but overtime is typically required after employees work 46 hours in a workweek. Visit the Kansas Department of Labor website for more information about overtime laws in Kansas.
Kentucky Overtime Laws
Overtime laws in Kentucky are also in line with the FLSA. Visit the Labor Cabinet website for more information about mandatory overtime laws in Kentucky.
Louisiana Overtime Laws
Federal overtime and wage rules apply to overtime laws in Louisiana. You can get additional information about mandatory overtime laws in Louisiana at the State Civil Service website.
Maine Overtime Laws
FLSA rules apply to overtime laws in Maine, and an automatic increase of $1 is applied to the state minimum wage if the federal wage is higher. You can learn more about mandatory overtime laws in Maine at the Maine Department of Labor website.
Maryland Overtime Laws
While FLSA applies to overtime laws in Maryland, if the federal minimum wage increases, the state’s wage will increase to match it. Non-hospital workers who care for the ill, mentally disabled, or elderly will receive overtime pay after 48 hours. Seasonal agricultural workers can receive overtime after working over 60 hours in a workweek. Get more information about Maryland’s mandatory overtime laws at the Department of Labor website.
Massachusetts Overtime Laws
When it comes to wages, Massachusetts requires that most employees be paid one-fifth times their regular hourly rate in overtime compensation, for all hours worked in excess of a 40-hour workweek. Overtime exemptions include employees like executives, professionals, and some seasonal workers. Learn more about mandatory overtime laws in Massachusetts at Mass.gov.
Michigan Overtime Laws
Overtime laws in Michigan dictate that overtime is applicable to employers with two or more employees on staff. For more information about Michigan's mandatory overtime laws, visit the state´s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs website.
Minnesota Overtime Laws
Minnesota’s overtime laws allow employees to get overtime pay if they work for more than 48 hours in a workweek. Learn more about mandatory overtime in Minnesota at the Department of Labor and Industry website.
Mississippi Overtime Laws
Mississippi does not have its own overtime law. However, FLSA wage and overtime rules apply to Mississippi. You can find out more about overtime laws in Mississippi by visiting the Federal Minimum Wage website.
Missouri Overtime Laws
Missouri follows the federal overtime laws in accordance with the FLSA. Learn more about mandatory overtime laws in Missouri at the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations website.
Montana Overtime Laws
FLSA rules apply to overtime laws in Montana, but employees working for seasonal recreational businesses will only be able to receive overtime pay after working for 48 hours. You can learn more about this by visiting the Department of Labor and Industry website.
Nebraska Overtime Laws
Overtime laws in Nebraska apply to employers with four or more employees. Otherwise, FLSA rules apply. Learn more when you visit the Nebraska Department of Labor website.
Nevada Overtime Laws
FLSA rules apply to mandatory overtime laws in Nevada. Nevada also has a daily overtime pay law. Learn more about Nevada overtime laws by visiting the Department of Business & Industry website.
New Hampshire Overtime Laws
Overtime laws in New Hampshire adhere to FLSA rules. Visit the Department of Labor site for additional information about the state’s mandatory overtime and wage laws.
New Jersey Overtime Laws
Typical FLSA rules apply to overtime laws in New Jersey. You can learn more about overtime laws in New Jersey at the Department of Labor and Workforce Development website.
New Mexico Overtime Laws
The FLSA is behind the overtime laws in New Mexico, and requires private employers to offer overtime. You can learn more about overtime laws in New Mexico by visiting the Department of Workforce Solutions website.
New York Overtime Laws
In New York, residential employees can earn overtime pay following 44 hours of work in a workweek. Some employees exempt under the FLSA may be covered by state law. To learn more about mandatory overtime laws in New York, visit the Department of Labor site.
North Carolina Overtime Laws
Most hourly employees in North Carolina are entitled to overtime pay for any hours worked over a 40-hour workweek. Employees who work for seasonal recreational businesses can receive overtime pay following 45 hours of work in a week. Learn more about mandatory overtime laws in North Carolina at the state’s Department of Labor website.
North Dakota Overtime Laws
FLSA rules apply to overtime laws in North Dakota. Agricultural and domestic employees, teachers, mechanics, truck drivers, and computer professionals earning more than $27.63 per hour are all exempt from overtime laws. Learn more about the state’s overtime laws with these Department of Labor wage and hours FAQs.
Ohio Overtime Laws
Ohio has made recent changes to its overtime laws. While it adheres to FLSA rules, it excludes certain activities from overtime pay requirements, like traveling to and from worksites and performing certain routine tasks. Visit the Ohio Revised Code to learn more about mandatory overtime laws in Ohio.
Oklahoma Overtime Laws
Most hourly employees in Oklahoma can receive overtime pay following working 40 hours in a week, and the minimum wage is based on the current federal wage, which applies to employers with 10 or more employees or who make over $100,000 in annual gross sales. Find out more about overtime laws in Oklahoma by visiting the Federal Minimum Wage website.
Oregon Overtime Laws
The minimum wage can adjust for inflation each year and, for certain industries, employees in Oregon can receive overtime pay after 10 extra hours of work. Learn more about mandatory overtime laws in Oregon by visiting the Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industries website.
Pennsylvania Overtime Laws
According to mandatory overtime laws in Pennsylvania, employees are entitled to at least minimum wage and overtime pay of 1.5 times for any and all hours worked over 40 per week. However, overtime pay is not required for employees “engaged in a bona fide executive, administrative or professional capacity” who receive a salary rather than an hourly wage. Visit the Department of Labor & Industry website to learn more about mandatory overtime laws in Pennsylvania.
Rhode Island Overtime Laws
FLSA rules apply to overtime laws in Rhode Island. Certain employees are exempt, like summer camp employees (where summer camps are not open for longer than six months), agricultural employees, police officers, many government employees, and car and farm equipment salespeople. Learn more about Rhode Island overtime laws over at the RI Department of Labor and Training website.
South Carolina Overtime Laws
FLSA rules are in line with overtime laws in South Carolina; it does not have any state-specific labor laws or overtime statutes. You can find out more about South Carolina mandatory overtime laws over at FindLaw.
South Dakota Overtime Laws
South Dakota overtime laws adhere to the FLSA rules. Learn more about mandatory overtime laws in South Dakota by visiting the South Dakota Department of Labor & Regulation site.
Tennessee Overtime Laws
FLSA rules govern overtime and wage laws in Tennessee. Visit the Tennessee Department of Human Resources website for additional information about state mandatory overtime laws.
Texas Overtime Laws
Federal wage and overtime laws also apply to minimum wage and overtime laws in Texas. You can learn more about Texas mandatory overtime laws at the Texas Payroll and Personnel Resource website.
Utah Overtime Laws
Federal laws apply to minimum wage and overtime laws in Utah. You can learn more about Utah mandatory overtime laws when visiting the Utah Code.
Vermont Overtime Laws
Overtime in Vermont is applicable to employers with at least two employees. For more details about overtime laws in Vermont, visit the Vermont Department of Labor guide on the state’s wage and hour laws.
Virginia Overtime Laws
Virginia is adherent to FLSA rules, but the main differences between the state and federal laws include regular rate of pay calculations for salaried, nonexempt employees, length of statute of limitations for filing a claim, and available damages. For more information about overtime laws in Virginia, visit the Virginia Department of Human Resource Management overview of the Virginia Overtime Wage Act.
Washington Overtime Laws
Typically, FLSA rules apply to overtime laws in Washington. Other overtime rates, like double-time pay, are not required by the state of Washington. However, there are some exceptions relating to specific public works projects. To learn more about Washington mandatory overtime laws, visit the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries website.
West Virginia Overtime Laws
To meet West Virginia overtime requirements, all of the following conditions must be met: (1) the business does not qualify for federal “enterprise” coverage, (2) 80% of employees do not qualify for individual or federal overtime coverage based on work duties as defined in interstate commerce activity, and (3) the employer has six or more nonexempt employees working in a single organization in West Virginia. You can learn more about overtime laws in West Virginia by checking out the West Virginia Division of Labor State Overtime Requirements website.
Wisconsin Overtime Laws
FLSA overtime rules apply to overtime laws in Wisconsin when it comes to employees in manufacturing, mechanical, beauty, retail, hotel, laundry, restaurant, phone, transportation, and shipping. Exempt establishments include agriculture employees, domestic service employees, some nonprofit organizations, and federal agencies. Learn more at the state Department of Workforce Development website.
Wyoming Overtime Laws
FLSA overtime rules dictate Wyoming overtime laws. You can learn more about wages and mandatory overtime laws in Wyoming by reviewing the state Department of Workforce Services FAQs.
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