Overtime in Connecticut: Can Extra Hours Be Put Towards a Future Workweek?
When a non-exempt employee works overtime, their employer must compensate them at the time and a half (1.5x) their regular rate of compensation. When non-exempt workers reach 40 hours worked in a workweek, they are entitled to overtime pay. One question this raises is whether or not my employer can move hours into the following week to prevent me from working overtime. The Fair Labor Standards Act categorically forbids companies from recalculating employees’ work hours to avoid paying overtime. In this post, our wage and hour lawyers in Hartford, Connecticut, break through the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), overtime pay, and carry over hours to the next pay period. Discuss your situation with certified employee rights lawyers.
Eligibility Requirements for Overtime in Connecticut
Under the Connecticut General Statutes Chapter 552, the President of the United States, or his/her designee (usually the Connecticut Department of Labor) is mandated to set a minimum wage and overtime rates for non-exempt employees. Employers in Connecticut must pay covered workers at least one and one-half times their regular rate of pay for each hour worked beyond 40 hours per week.
In order to be eligible for overtime in Connecticut, an employee must:
- Be paid an hourly rate;
- Hold a status defined by law as “nonexempt” from overtime;
- Be employed within the state; and
- Have worked at least forty hours during any workweek.
Certain employees may be exempted from overtime requirements based on their job duties, such as executive, administrative or professional employees, outside salespersons or commission earners who have reached a certain income level. Employers are prohibited by law from misclassifying an employee’s job status to avoid paying time and a half wages. Employees with claims related to an alleged violation of wage laws may seek relief through the state’s administrative procedures, or pursue litigation in court seeking damages that may include back wages and interest on those wages plus punitive damages.
Per the Fair Labor Standards Act, employers must maintain precise records of employee time spent on the job.
The FLSA mandates extensive documentation from all businesses. Employers in Connecticut are required by law to keep precise time records for their non-exempt staff members. No company is allowed to move employees’ hours between pay periods to avoid paying them overtime. Take the hypothetical wage of $30 per hour for a non-exempt construction worker in Hartford County, Connecticut. The first week the employee puts in 43 hours, and the second week they put in 36. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, their compensation should look like this:
40 hours at minimum wage ($30) plus 3 hours at double time ($45) for the first week is in accordance with federal law regarding minimum wage and overtime pay. Earn $30 for working a standard workweek of 36 hours.
This is a violation of wage and hour laws: $40 for 40 hours of work in the first week. For the second week, you will be paid for 39 hours at a straight time ($30).
In this case, the violation of wage and hour laws would be the deferral of payment for three overtime hours from the first week to the second, when the employee worked fewer than 40 hours total. “Banking” of overtime hours is another term for this technique. It’s illegal under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
One Prohibited Method of Overtime Hour Shifting Enforced Under the Fair Labor Standards Act
After an investigation found that a Central Florida contractor had been “banking” overtime hours, inappropriately transferring them to a future pay period, the DOL ordered the company to pay over $17,000 in back overtime compensation to its employees. In that scenario, employers were giving workers accrued paid time off at a flat hourly rate to avoid paying overtime.