Compliance

Overtime Pay Laws | States + Federal (2023)

By Shani Leead

Apr. 10, 2023

Summary 

  • Federal overtime laws require that employers provide overtime pay to those who work over 40 hours per workweek.

  • Many states have their own overtime laws, some of which come with unique exceptions. 

  • States that do not have their own overtime rules default to the federal law.   

  • In the event that there are conflicting overtime laws between a state and the federal government, the employer must abide by the law that is more beneficial to the employee. 


If you are in charge of hourly employees, it’s likely that there will be days, weeks, or even months when your staff needs to work extra hours. Whether that’s over a typical eight-hour workday or a 40-hour workweek, the federal government has made it mandatory to compensate all non-exempt employees. This is important as it protects workers and rewards them for the additional time they spend supporting your business. 

Some states have their own overtime laws, while others do not. It’s crucial to stay informed on the current overtime laws in your state. In fact, if an employer willfully or repeatedly violates overtime requirements, they will be subject to a civil money penalty of up to $1,000 for each violation. 

Luckily, the laws themselves are relatively straightforward. Below we’ve compiled the federal laws along with a table outlining the overtime laws by state. 

Jump to overtime law table

Federal overtime laws 

According to the US Department of Labor, federal laws on overtime pay are determined by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA states that all non-exempt employees are entitled to overtime pay for working over 40 hours in a workweek. If an employee has exempt status, such as a salaried employee, you are not required to provide overtime. 

The rate of overtime pay must be no less than time and a half their usual hourly rate of pay (or 1.5 times the regular rate of pay). Additionally, there is no limit to the number of hours an employee can work in any workweek. 

A “workweek” is seven consecutive days or a fixed set of 168 hours. These seven days do not need to align with a typical calendar week or job starting time. As long as a fixed and regularly recurring schedule is established, employees should receive the overtime rate owed to them. Typically, overtime pay is included with the wages earned in a regular payday or pay period. 

Forced overtime work

In most states, workers can be “forced” to work overtime by their company. Employers can schedule workers for any shift length or consecutive work days. Additionally, federal law does not require breaks to be provided to the employee. However, many states have mandatory breaks and paid rest periods. If a worker refuses to work overtime, the employer has a legal right to terminate the employee. 

Occupations that are exempt from overtime pay 

There are various occupations and job duties that are exempt from overtime pay. The standard salary level that exempts executive, administrative, and professional employees is a wage rate of $684 per week or $35,568 per year for full-time staff. For highly compensated exempt employees, the annual compensation requirement is $107,432 per year.  

Examples of exempt roles include: 

A state-by-state breakdown of overtime laws

If a state does not have its own overtime laws, it must default to the federal law. However, if a state has its own overtime laws, the state law is added on top of the federal law. In other words, employers need to abide by whichever law is more generous and provides their staff with the highest earnings. 

When it comes to remote workers who work in different states, the labor laws of the state in which they are physically located and perform work apply. This is true regardless of where the company is located. So if your company is based in New York, but your employee is working from California, you would follow California’s overtime laws for that employee. 

A look at overtime laws by state

Column two denotes whether or not a state has a law establishing a daily overtime threshold, along with the rate at which these hours are paid. The dashes indicate that the state does not have any laws pertaining to daily overtime. 

Column three lists each state’s weekly overtime threshold as well as the rate at which overtime is paid. States with notable exceptions or unique labor laws have links to their respective department of labor pages. 

 

State Daily OT threshold Weekly OT threshold 
Alabama 40 hours (1.5x)
Alaska 8 hours (1.5x) 40 hours (1.5x)
Arizona 40 hours (1.5x)
Arkansas 40 hours (1.5x)
California 8 hours (1.5x) / 12 hours (2x) 40 hours (1.5x)
Colorado 12 hours (1.5x) 40 hours (1.5x)
Connecticut 40 hours (1.5x)
Delaware 40 hours (1.5x)
D.C.  40 hours (1.5x)
Florida 40 hours (1.5x)
Georgia 40 hours (1.5x)
Hawaii 40 hours (1.5x)
Idaho 40 hours (1.5x)
Illinois 40 hours (1.5x)
Indiana 40 hours (1.5x)
Iowa 40 hours (1.5x)
Kansas 46 hours (1.5x)
Kentucky 40 hours (1.5x)
Louisiana 40 hours (1.5x)
Maine 40 hours (1.5x)
Maryland 40 hours (1.5x)
Massachusetts  40 hours (1.5x)
Michigan  40 hours (1.5x)
Minnesota 48 hours (1.5x)
Mississippi 40 hours (1.5x)
Missouri 40 hours (1.5x)
Montana 40 hours (1.5x)
Nebraska 40 hours (1.5x)
Nevada 8 hours (1.5x) 40 hours (1.5x)
New Hampshire 40 hours (1.5x)
New Jersey  40 hours (1.5x)
New Mexico 40 hours (1.5x)
New York 40 hours (1.5x)
North Carolina 40 hours (1.5x)
North Dakota 40 hours (1.5x)
Ohio 40 hours (1.5x)
Oregon 40 hours (1.5x)
Pennsylvania 40 hours (1.5x)
Rhode Island 40 hours (1.5x)
South Carolina 40 hours (1.5x)
South Dakota 40 hours (1.5x)
Tennessee 40 hours (1.5x)
Texas 40 hours (1.5x)
Utah 40 hours (1.5x)
Vermont 40 hours (1.5x)
Virginia 40 hours (1.5x)
Washington 40 hours (1.5x)
West Virginia 40 hours (1.5x)
Wisconsin 40 hours (1.5x)
Wyoming 40 hours (1.5x)

 

As you can see from the table above, the majority of states base overtime pay on a 40-hour workweek, defaulting to the federal law. However, some states require overtime pay based on the hours worked in a single workday or other unique exceptions. Below we’ve delved into a few examples of state-by-state exceptions. For other exceptions, click through the links in the table above. 

California 

In California, employers are required by law to provide one-and-a-half times pay if an employee works over: 

  • 40 hours in a workweek
  • 8 hours in a workday 
  • 6 days in a workweek  

Moreover, California also has a double-time law in which an employer must pay double their regular hourly pay if an employee works over:  

  • 12 hours in a workday 
  • 8 hours on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek

Alaska

Like California, Alaska’s state overtime law requires that employers pay overtime when a non-exempt employee logs more than 40 hours of work and eight hours in a workday. However, the overtime rules have a number of exemptions related to occupations in agriculture and aquatic work.

Colorado

Colorado’s state overtime law requires overtime pay for hours worked beyond: 

  • 40 hours in a workweek 
  • 12 hours in a workday 
  • 12 consecutive hours, regardless of the start and end time of the workday  

Kansas 

Unlike the conventional 40 hours of most states, Kansas overtime law requires employers to pay overtime when an employee has worked over 46 hours in a workweek. However, because the FLSA requires that overtime is awarded at 40 plus hours, Kansas businesses that are covered by the FLSA must follow the federal law. If not, they must follow Kansas’s overtime rules for non-exempt employees.  

Minnesota 

Minnesota’s state overtime law requires companies to pay overtime for those working over 48 hours in a workweek. Like Kansas, Minnesota businesses covered by FLSA must follow the federal law. 

Stay on Top of Overtime

Overtime is expensive. While necessary at times, ideally, it should never be the norm. If you find yourself consistently paying out overtime hours even in the face of manageable workloads, something is probably wrong. Check out the free webinar below to figure out how to keep your labor costs low by drilling down on where you are overspending on overtime. 

Webinar: How to Lower Your Overtime Hours

For the few times you do need to pay overtime, make sure you are doing it correctly. There are many ways to do this yourself; however, manually tracking and calculating overtime hours is a dangerous game that can only get you so far.

Workforce.com’s Time & Attendance platform makes the hassle of recording, calculating, and paying overtime much easier. Through an extensive time clock system, employee overtime hours and pay are automatically compiled on electronic timesheets, helping you improve visibility, reduce errors, and avoid compliance risks. You can then push these timesheets right into payroll to get employees paid for their extra efforts accurately and on time. 

To learn more about how Workforce.com can help you manage overtime, book a call or start a free trial today. 

Schedule, engage, and pay your staff in one system with Workforce.com.

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