How to Know If You are Owed Overtime Pay

According to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), as well as CT labor laws, all those employed within the state of Connecticut are entitled to proper payment for the work they do. That means that they have the right to earn at an hourly rate no less than the state minimum wage of $11 per hour and that for any time worked beyond the 40-hour workweek, they are entitled to overtime premiums (unless exempt).

Overtime premiums, sometimes simply referred to as time-and-a-half, mean that an employee earns at an hourly rate of 1.5x their normal wage. So a minimum wage-earning employee would make $16.50 per hour time-and-a-half, or their normal $11 per hour, plus $5.50 in overtime premiums. Overtime kicks in automatically and does not require approval. Most hourly and salaried employees are entitled to overtime, with a few exceptions.

Am I eligible for overtime if I am salaried?

Being a salaried employee does not prevent you from earning overtime pay. In fact, if you make less than $23,660 annual salary ($455 per week) in Connecticut, you are generally entitled to overtime pay if you work more than 40 hours in a single week. Additionally, if you work in certain jobs, including the following, you are likely entitled to overtime pay if you work 40+ hours, regardless of your salary:

      • Cashier
      • Construction worker
      • Factory attendant
      • Police
      • Paramedics
      • Firefighters
      • Other first responders
      • Practical nurses
      • Paralegals

Who is not eligible for overtime?

Certain employees, depending on their type of job and day-to-day duties, are considered exempt from overtime laws, meaning that employers are not required to pay them overtime; however, they are not ineligible for overtime premiums should their employers choose to pay it.

There are four classifications of positions that may be considered exempt from overtime laws:

      • Executive – Executives are considered exempt when they are salaried employees whose primary responsibility is managing two or more employees and who spend no more than 20 percent of their time (40 percent in retail business) performing other activities.
      • Administrative – Administrators are exempt when they are salaried employees whose duties are non-manual and, for no less than 80 percent of their work time (60 percent in a retail setting), consist of facilitating business operations, creating or enforcing management policies, and training employees.
      • Professional – Workers are considered professionals when their responsibilities rely on specified knowledge, skill, or an advanced degree—roles such as artists, certified educators, academics, advanced computing, etc. They must be salaried employees whose jobs are considered primarily (at least 80 percent of duties) intellectual, requiring particular judgment and discretion in order to be exempt from overtime.
      • Outside sales – Exempt outside salespeople must either receive a salary or earn wages partially or entirely on commission while devoting no more than 20 percent of their work time to activities other than making sales or taking orders outside the workplace.

If you do not work in an exempt category and believe you are owed unpaid overtime/time-and-a-half wages, you can file a claim within the Connecticut Department of Labor.

Contact a knowledgeable CT employment lawyer for help obtaining the overtime pay you deserve

The wage and hour attorneys of Madsen, Prestley & Parenteau LLC have more than two decades of experience helping clients seek overtime wages and handling other wage-hour matters. Contact us online or call (860) 246-2466 today to learn more about the unparalleled legal support we provide.