Legal Guide for Mississippi Overtime Laws

Updated on Author: Sergei Lemberg

Updated on Author: Sergei Lemberg

If you work in Mississippi, then you must understand overtime laws to ensure you receive fair pay. Undoubtedly, overtime laws protect employees from being overworked without proper compensation.

In this article, we’ll discuss the basics of these laws, who qualifies for overtime, how to calculate overtime pay, and what you should do if your employer violates these laws. Without a doubt, knowing your rights empowers you to take the necessary action if needed so you receive the pay that is due you for your services.

Since the standard minimum wage in Mississippi is $7.25 per hour, the state’s overtime minimum wage rate is $10.88 per hour.

Overtime Law Summary

Mississippi follows the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for its overtime laws. Therefore, this means most employees must receive overtime pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek.

The overtime pay rate is one and a half times the employee’s regular hourly rate. For instance, if you earn $10 per hour, your overtime rate should be $15 per hour.

According to Mississippi overtime laws, non-exempt employees must receive overtime pay. Also, hourly workers earning less than $684 per week ($35,568 annually) in non-exempt industries are entitled to overtime compensation. However, your eligibility for overtime pay also depends on your specific job duties and the type of business you work in.

Who Qualifies for Overtime Pay?

Not all employees qualify for overtime pay. However, FLSA exempts certain employees based on their job duties and salary.

Here are some common exemptions:

  1. Executive Employees: Managers who supervise at least two full-time employees and have hiring and firing authority.
  2. Administrative Employees: Workers performing office or non-manual work related to management or business operations who exercise independent judgment.
  3. Professional Employees: Employees who require advanced knowledge, typically gained through education or specialized training.
  4. Outside Sales Employees: Salespeople who work primarily outside the employer’s place of business.
  5. Computer Employees: Certain computer professionals, such as systems analysts and software developers, earn at least $27.63 per hour.

How to Calculate Overtime Pay

To calculate overtime pay, you need to know your regular hourly rate.

Also, divide your total weekly pay by the number of hours you worked.

Then, multiply the regular rate by 1.5 to find your overtime rate.

Multiply this overtime rate by the number of overtime hours worked.

For example:

  • You work 45 hours in a week.
  • Your regular hourly rate is $12.
  • Your overtime rate is $12 x 1.5 = $18.
  • You worked 5 overtime hours.
  • Your overtime pay is 5 x $18 = $90.

Tipped Employees

Tipped employees in Mississippi receive an overtime rate of 1.5 times their regular wage for each overtime hour worked. However, these employees earn a lower minimum wage of $2.13 per hour, unlike the standard state minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

Both state and federal laws allow the use of a “tip credit” system. Therefore, this system lets employers pay tipped employees a reduced minimum wage, provided the employees make enough in tips to reach the regular state minimum wage. However, if the total earnings, including tips, fall short of the standard minimum wage, the employer must cover the difference.

Importantly, employers cannot use the tip credit when calculating overtime pay. Also, they must base overtime pay calculations on the full Mississippi minimum wage. Consequently, this ensures that tipped employees receive fair compensation for their overtime hours.

Salaried Employees

In Mississippi, certain salaried employees qualify for overtime pay. A salaried employee receives a fixed salary, regardless of the actual hours worked. Undoubtedly this means that if you’re a salaried employee who works more hours than your salary compensates for, you’re entitled to extra pay for those additional hours.

To determine your overtime pay as a salaried employee take these steps:

Calculate the Hourly Rate: Divide the annual salary by the number of hours the salary covers.

  1. Determine the Overtime Rate: Use the formula:
    Hourly pay rate x Overtime Hours x Overtime Rate (1.5)

If a salaried your pay covers less than 40 hours in a workweek, then your regular rate applies for each hour worked up to 40. Only hours worked beyond 40 qualify for the time-and-a-half overtime rate. Conversely, if the salary covers 40 hours, then the time-and-a-half rate applies for any hours worked over 40.

Understanding these rules ensures that as a salaried employee, you receive fair compensation for your extra work.

Common Overtime Violations

Unfortunately, some employers try to avoid paying overtime. Watch for these common violations:

  1. Misclassifying Employees: Employers may wrongly classify employees as exempt to avoid paying overtime.
  2. Off-the-Clock Work: Employers may ask employees to work off the clock, before or after their scheduled hours.
  3. Incorrect Calculation of Hours: Employers may not count all hours worked, including short breaks and preparation time.
  4. Failing to Pay for Travel Time: Employers may not pay for travel time that should be counted as work hours.
  5. Improperly Averaging Hours: Employers may average hours over two weeks to avoid paying overtime in one week.

What to Do if Your Employer Violates Overtime Laws

If you believe your employer is not paying you the overtime you deserve, take action. First, document everything. Also, keep records of your hours worked, pay received, and any communications with your employer about overtime.

Next, sit down to discuss with your employer the problem. They might correct the mistake once it’s brought to their attention. However, if this doesn’t resolve the issue, you can file a complaint with the Mississippi Department of Employment Security or the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division.

Statute of Limitations for Unpaid Overtime Claims in Mississippi

In Mississippi, as an employee, you have two years from the date of the violation to file a claim for unpaid overtime wages. This means that if you file a lawsuit today, you can only recover overtime wages for the past two years. However, if your employer has knowingly or willfully violated overtime regulations, this statute of limitations extends to three years. Also, this extended period allows employees to seek compensation for a longer duration in cases of intentional misconduct by employers.

How to File an Overtime Claim

If you need to file an overtime claim, then gather all necessary documents, such as pay stubs, time records, and employment contracts. Without a doubt, you must have everything ready to seek legal help and prove your case.

Contact the appropriate agency and follow their process for submitting a complaint. Typically you must fill out forms and provide evidence that you have not received overtime pay and your employer has violated the Mississippi overtime laws or those set forth by the FLSA.

Legal Protections Against Retaliation

Know that you are protected from retaliation if you file a complaint. For that reason, your employer cannot legally fire you, demote you, or take any negative action against you for asserting your rights under overtime laws. Also, if you face retaliation, file a separate complaint for that issue.

Overtime for Salaried Employees

Even if you are salaried, you might still be entitled to overtime pay. The key factor is whether you are classified as exempt or non-exempt under the FLSA. Non-exempt salaried employees should receive overtime pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek. Accordingly, your employer must calculate your regular hourly rate based on your salary and hours worked.

Special Considerations for Certain Industries

Some industries have unique overtime rules. For example, healthcare workers, first responders, and certain government employees may have different regulations. Subsequently, it is essential to understand the specific rules that apply to your job.

Think You Have a Case? Contact Us for Assistance

If you believe your employer has violated overtime laws and not given you the pay you deserve, contact Lemberg Law for assistance. Therefore, our experienced legal team will evaluate your case for free. Call us at 475-277-2200 or complete our online form to get started. We can guide you through the process and help you get the compensation you are owed.

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."

See more posts from Sergei Lemberg
  • Charisma E

    The chicken plants in Mississippi or not only way underpaying us but they are also not giving us our overtime pay while forcing us to work overtime.

  • MorganB

    I have been working for my current employer now for over a month. When I started, I knew my job was going to be based on salaried pay. My current salary is $480 a week. Every week I have worked for this company has been for at least 45 hours or more, and yet my pay remains the same. I can recall that there was one week where I nearly worked 50 hours, but I still only made my $480 salary. I am not in an administrative or executive position, so my question is shouldn’t I be getting paid some kind of overtime for working more than 40 hours a week?

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