Georgia Overtime Law Guide

Updated on Author: Sergei Lemberg

Updated on Author: Sergei Lemberg

Understanding overtime laws in Georgia ensures you receive fair compensation for your hard work. This guide will help you figure out who qualifies for overtime pay, how to calculate it, and what steps to take if you have overtime owed to you.

Who is Entitled to Overtime Pay?

In Georgia, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) governs overtime pay. If you work more than 40 hours in a workweek, you are generally entitled to overtime pay. Non-exempt employees, typically including hourly workers, must receive overtime compensation. However, some salaried employees may also qualify based on their job duties and salary level.

Exemptions and Exceptions

Not all employees qualify for overtime pay.

Exempt employees include those in executive, administrative, and professional roles, as well as certain computer professionals and outside salespersons. Your job duties and salary determine if you are exempt.

The Duties and Salary Tests

The duties test examines your job responsibilities. For instance, executives must primarily manage the enterprise, direct the work of at least two other employees, and have the authority to hire or fire.

The salary test requires that you earn a minimum salary. For 2024, the minimum salary threshold for exempt employees under FLSA is $35,568 annually.

Rate and Calculation

Calculating your overtime pay involves a specific formula.

The standard overtime rate is one and a half times your regular hourly rate.

To determine your regular hourly rate, divide your weekly earnings by the total number of hours worked that week. Then, multiply this rate by 1.5 for any hours worked over 40 in a week.

For example, if you earn $600 in a week for 40 hours of work, your regular hourly rate is $15. If you work 45 hours, your overtime rate is $22.50 per hour. Therefore, your overtime pay for the extra five hours would be $112.50.

Special Considerations for Salaried Employees

Salaried employees can sometimes qualify for overtime. If you receive a salary but do not fall under the exempt categories, you should still be eligible for overtime pay.

Your overtime rate is based on your equivalent hourly wage, calculated by dividing your weekly salary by the number of hours you normally work.

Compensatory Time

In Georgia, non-exempt workers in public sectors can receive compensatory time off, or “comp time,” instead of extra pay for hours worked beyond 40 in a week. This policy allows these employees to take paid time off in the future, accrued at a rate of 1.5 hours for every overtime hour worked. However, this practice is exclusive to public employees and is not permitted for private sector employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Refusing to Work Overtime

In Georgia, your employer can legally require you to work overtime, and they must pay you the appropriate overtime rates. If you refuse to work the required overtime, your employer has the right to terminate your employment. Georgia’s overtime laws do not require overtime pay for working more than eight hours in a day; instead, overtime is calculated based on the total hours worked in a week.

Tipped Employees

When tipped employees in Georgia work overtime, their overtime rate is based on the full minimum wage, not the reduced cash wage paid by the employer. Employers cannot take a larger tip credit for overtime hours than they do for regular hours. This ensures that tipped employees receive fair compensation for their overtime work.

By understanding these policies, you can better navigate your rights and obligations regarding overtime work and compensation in Georgia.

Calculating Georgia Overtime with Commission

In Georgia, calculating overtime pay includes bonuses, commissions, and other additional compensations.

Here’s a way to figure out your overtime pay if you receive commissions:

Find the Normal Rate:

Add your hourly wage and the weekly commission.

Divide the total by the hours you worked in a week.

Calculate the Overtime Rate:

Divide your normal rate by 2.

For example, if you earn $10 per hour and get a weekly commission of $40, here’s how you calculate:

Normal Rate: (40×10)+40(40 \times 10) + 40(40×10)+40 divided by 40 hours = $11 per hour.

Overtime Rate:

$11 divided by 2 = $5.50 per hour.

So, if you worked 45 hours, your overtime pay for the extra 5 hours would be $5.50 per hour, in addition to your regular hourly wage of $10.

Steps to Take if You Believe You’re Owed Overtime Pay

If you think you’re owed back overtime pay, follow these steps:

  1. Document Your Hours: Keep detailed records of your hours worked, including any overtime.
  2. Review Your Pay Stubs: Check your pay stubs for any discrepancies in your overtime pay.
  3. Understand the Statute of Limitations: In Georgia, you have two years to file a claim for unpaid overtime under FLSA, but this can extend to three years if the violation was willful.
  4. File a Complaint: You can file a complaint with the Georgia Department of Labor or the U.S. Department of Labor.
  5. Consult an Attorney: If necessary, consult with an employment attorney to understand your rights and options.

Filing a Complaint

When you file a complaint, gather evidence of the hours you worked and your pay rate. The Georgia Department of Labor will investigate your claim, and if they find in your favor, your employer must pay the owed overtime, plus potential damages.

Consult an Attorney

Consulting an attorney gives you the legal support needed to navigate the complexities of overtime laws. They can help you gather the necessary documentation, file your claim, and represent you in any legal proceedings.

Your Rights

Understanding your rights under Georgia overtime laws ensures you receive fair compensation for your work. Employers must comply with these laws, and if they fail to do so, they face significant penalties.

Georgia’s overtime laws protect workers and ensure they receive fair pay for their hard work. By knowing who qualifies for overtime, understanding how to calculate it, and knowing what steps to take if you’re owed back pay, you can safeguard your rights and ensure you’re fairly compensated.

If you have any doubts or need assistance, don’t hesitate to seek legal advice to protect your rights and secure the pay you’ve earned.

Next Steps

Are you struggling with overtime pay issues or suspect your employer is violating labor laws? Lemberg Law can help. Our experienced attorneys specialize in employment law and can help you receive the compensation you deserve. Don’t let your hard-earned wages slip away. Contact us today for a free consultation.


Sergei Lemberg

About the Author:

Sergei Lemberg is an attorney focusing on consumer law, class actions related to automotive issues, and personal injury litigation. With nearly two decades of experience, his areas of practice include Lemon Law (vehicle defects), Debt Collection Harassment, TCPA (illegal robocalls and texts), Fair Credit Reporting Act, Overtime claims, Personal Injury cases, and Class Actions. He has consistently been recognized as the nation's "most active consumer attorney." In 2020, Mr. Lemberg represented Noah Duguid before the United States Supreme Court in the landmark case Duguid v. Facebook. He is also the author of "Defanging Debt Collectors," a guide that empowers consumers to fight back against debt collectors and prevail, as well as "Lemon Law 101: The Laws That Lemon Dealers Don't Want You to Know."

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  • Dwayne J

    I work for cash I work 54 hours a week am do i qualify for overtime

  • Lana L

    I work in home health, paid on a per patient basis, we are also required to work 1 weekend every other month at the hospital at a different rate, when we work the weekend we are working 2 weeks straight without a day off, so working at the very least 2, 40 hour weeks then sometimes 9-12 hour days on the weekend, Im just wondering what my rights are.

  • Beth M

    By Ga. Law is my company required to pay time an half on hourly pay overtime I get paid every 2wks.

  • Amy A

    I travel from store to store as an inventory auditor. Our drive time is paid separately from our work hours to avoid overtime compensation. Is that legal!

  • Tim

    I get paid weekly and do not get paid over time it is straight pay after 40 hours. They say since I am a new employee. I have to wait to qualify for overtime.

  • Martha A

    my employer pays every 2 weeks and will not pay overtime unless we have a total of 80 hours first. That does not seem right if you work ovretime one week and you are off the next week.

  • David T

    I have payroll every two weeks. It starts on Sunday and ends on a Saturday. I had an employee that switched his shift from the the start of a new payroll, to the Saturday of the last payroll. This put his entire shift on as over time. An employee induced glitch. I did not approve of the switch. Am I required by law to pay him over time? This is in Georgia.

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