Every employer has the option of paying its employees at a heightened, overtime rate of pay for hours worked over regular hours. Overtime pay can be negotiated between employer and employee. Once an overtime pay agreement is reached (and ideally documented!) the employer must pay according to the agreement. This is because New Hampshire law requires employers to pay employees “all wages due” for hours worked, and “all wages due” depends primarily upon the employer/employee agreement as to the wage rate.
The better legal question, for employees not able to negotiate overtime pay with their employers, is “must I be paid overtime?” under the federal, Fair Labor Standards Act. As it happens, as of January 1, 2020, the FLSA requires many more workers to be paid overtime pay. Here’s why.
Under the FLSA, workers (very generally and subject to multiple exceptions) are required to be paid “overtime,” at a rate of one and one-half the worker’s regular rate of pay, for each hour worked in excess of 40 in a workweek. One of the big exceptions to this rule is what’s called the “white-collar exemption.” The exemption is interpreted and enforced by the US Department of Labor and for decades the Department has applied the exemption to all workers: (a) paid at least $23,600 per year ($455 per week); (b) paid on a salary basis; and (c) who perform executive, administrative, or professional job duties. See https://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime2019/overtime_FS.htm. As of January 1, 2020, the Department changed its exemption-from-overtime-pay rule increasing the minimum salary requirement to $35,568 per year, or $684 a week. See 29 C.F.R. part 541. The increase has the potential to sweep 1.3 million workers into mandatory overtime pay unless their base salary is increased!
If you have a wage issue, please call one of our employment attorneys at (603) 288-1403 for a free consultation or fill out our online contact form.