Texas Overtime Law help Guide

Updated on Author: Sergei Lemberg

Updated on Author: Sergei Lemberg

What Are The Overtime Laws in Texas?

Understanding overtime laws in Texas ensures that you receive fair compensation for your work. This guide provides a detailed overview of who qualifies for overtime pay, how to calculate it, and what steps to take if you believe you’re owed back overtime pay in the Lone Star state.

Who is Entitled?

In Texas, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) governs overtime pay. If you work more than 40 hours in a workweek, then you may qualify for overtime pay. Non-exempt employees, including most 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. To determine an exemption, employers use specific tests based on your job duties and salary.

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.

Overtime Rate and Calculation

Calculating your Texas requires 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.

Texas Weekend and Holiday Overtime Pay Requirements

Contrary to common misconceptions, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not mandate overtime pay for work performed on weekends, holidays, or regular days of rest unless you work overtime hours on those days. Whether you receive extra pay for working on weekends or nights depends on the agreement between you and your employer, as the FLSA does not require it.

Moreover, the FLSA operates on a workweek basis, not on a biweekly or semi-monthly schedule aligned with an employer’s pay period. Your workweek consists of a fixed, recurring period of seven consecutive days. Typically, you should receive overtime pay for hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek on the regular payday for that pay period.

Understanding these nuances ensures that you know your rights and can effectively handle your employment terms.

Refusing to Work Overtime

In Texas, you don’t have legal protections if you refuse to work overtime. Your employer can discipline you for refusing, which might include termination. Your ability to resist working overtime depends on whether you are classified as an exempt or non-exempt employee.

Compensatory Time

Only governmental agencies in Texas can provide compensatory time, or “comp time,” to non-exempt employees instead of cash compensation.

Comp time is accrued at one and a half times the overtime hours worked. However, once you accrue 240 hours of comp time, your employer must pay you in cash for any additional overtime.

Public safety personnel, such as police officers and firefighters, can accrue up to 480 hours of comp time before they must receive cash compensation.

Private sector employers in Texas cannot offer comp time and must always provide cash compensation for overtime worked, per Texas overtime law.

Overtime for Tipped Employee

If you are a tipped employee in Texas, you are entitled to overtime compensation. Although your minimum wage is lower than the standard state minimum wage, your overtime rate is calculated based on the full minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

The tip credit system allows your employer to pay you a lower minimum wage ($2.13 per hour), with the difference made up by your tips. However, your employer cannot apply a higher tip credit for overtime hours, ensuring you receive fair compensation.

Understanding these overtime rules helps you protect your rights and ensures you receive proper compensation for your work.

Calculating Overtime with Commission

In Texas, overtime laws ensure that employees earning commissions receive overtime pay like any other non-exempt employee.

Employers must include commissions when calculating an employee’s wage for overtime purposes. However, for overtime hours, the employee receives half of the regular hourly rate calculated with commissions.

Example: let’s consider an employee working 45 hours a week at $10 per hour, with $100 in weekly commissions.

Here’s how to calculate the new regular hourly rate:

  • Calculate total weekly earnings: (TotalHours×HourlyRate)+Commission(Total Hours \times Hourly Rate) + Commission(TotalHours×HourlyRate)+Commission (45 \times 10) + 100 = $550
  • Determine the new regular hourly rate: 550 \div 45 = $12.22
  • Calculate the overtime rate (half of the new regular hourly rate): 12.22 \div 2 = $6.11
  • Compute the overtime pay for the extra 5 hours worked: 6.11 \times 5 = $30.55

Thus, for the overtime hours, the employee earns an additional $30.55. This amount will vary based on the total hours worked, the hourly rate, and the commissions earned.

By understanding these steps, you can ensure that your overtime pay accurately reflects your earnings, including commissions.

Overtime Exceptions and Exemptions in Texas

In Texas, certain employees do not qualify for overtime pay, even though the regulations generally state that non-exempt employees are eligible.

The following categories of employees are exempt from receiving overtime compensation:

  1. Piece Rate Workers: Employees paid by the unit produced, rather than on a time basis, if they meet specific criteria.
  2. Retail and Service Employees: Those who earn more than half of their income from commissions and whose regular rates are at least 1.5 times the minimum wage.
  3. Local Public Transport Employees: Workers for local electric railway, trolley, or bus carriers.
  4. Public Agency Employees: Employees who receive paid time off for extra hours worked.
  5. Rail and Air Carrier Employees: Specific employees involved in rail and air transport.
  6. Outside Buyers: Individuals buying poultry, eggs, cream, or milk in their natural state.
  7. Seamen: Workers on any vessel.
  8. Agricultural Workers: Employees involved in farming activities.
  9. Maple Product Processors: Employees processing maple sap into non-refined sugar or syrup.
  10. Taxicab Drivers: Drivers working for taxicab companies.
  11. Motion Picture Theater Employees: Workers in the motion picture theater industry.
  12. Registered Nurses: While hourly-paid registered nurses are entitled to overtime under federal law, hospitals cannot mandate overtime work, and nurses can refuse extra hours.

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 Texas, you have two years to file a claim for unpaid overtime under FLSA, but this can extend to three years if the violation is willful.
  4. File a Complaint: You can file a complaint with the Texas Workforce Commission 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 Texas Workforce Commission will investigate your claim, and if they find it in your favor, your employer must pay the owed overtime, plus potential damages.

Consulting 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.

Importance of Knowing Your Rights

Understanding your rights under Texas 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.

Texas overtime laws aim to 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.

What Can You Do?

Are you facing issues with overtime pay or suspect your employer violated labor laws in Texas? Lemberg Law can help. Our skilled attorneys specialize in employment law and can ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. 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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  • K. H

    I work at the new dunkin on clear creek in Killeen Texas and Ive had problems about not receiving he correct pay and they told me they would fix it and they havent so this pay car and I had worked well over 40 hours and I have not gotten paid my overtime and I contacted my manager and he is refusing to give me the correct pay.

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