There can be a great deal of variation in the types of overtime laws that are found in different jurisdictions. First, this type of legislation may define overtime and state that it is a violation for employers not to adhere to the regulations when labor situations fit a certain definition. Second, these laws generally outline those who are and are not eligible for such benefits. Third, overtime laws often outline the rates at which overtime should be paid and the procedure to follow if it is not paid.
Overtime laws are generally found under the umbrella of a larger area of jurisprudence, such as labor or employment law. The goal of overtime laws tends to be to regulate what will happen if individuals work more than a certain number of hours. Although in most instances these laws pertain to full-time employees, because legislation does vary, there may be instances where part-time employee interests are also addressed.
One of the most important types of overtime laws are those that recognize that special circumstances should exist if a person works more than a certain number of hours in a given period. Some laws may recognize that overtime exists when a person engages in more than a certain number of hours of work per day. Others may base their calculations on hours worked in a week.
It should be noted that, in many cases, the law makes exceptions about paying individuals elevated rates for overtime work. There are certain industries or positions that may not be recognized as eligible for overtime benefits due to the nature of the work involved. For example, fishermen are often on boats for extended periods and are therefore excluded from benefits. Salaried workers may also be ineligible for overtime compensation.
Some of these laws address other reasons that may or may not impact whether increased rates are paid for overtime. In many jurisdictions, there is language that expressly prohibits employers from denying payment of overtime earned as a disciplinary measure. Some jurisdictions have legislation in place that requires payment of overtime rates even if the additional hours are worked without the employer making the request.
Another important category of overtime laws determines the rate at which individuals must be paid. For example, in the U.S., it is common for individuals to receive one and one-half times their normal pay rates. This means that if a person’s hourly wage is $10 US Dollars (USD), his overtime rate will be $15. Procedures that should be used to report or to rectify violations of the law may also be part of overtime legislation. Such sections of the law may limit recoverable damages or impose mandatory minimum fines on employers who act contrarily.