What Are The Overtime Laws in Texas?
Even if you enjoy your job, it pays to be there. And if you’re working more than the standard 40-hour workweek, you need to be sure you’ve been adequately compensated for your time. If an employer fails to follow overtime laws, you’re losing hard earned money.
Overtime constitutes any hours worked over the standard 40 hours in a single workweek. Federal and state laws entitle employees to compensation for any hours worked over that number. The rate at which employers are obligated to pay employees is 1.5 times their regular rate. Familiarizing yourself with state and federal wage laws if you live in Texas is necessary to make sure your employer has compensated you properly.
Federal Law and Its Effect on Texas Wages
Federal laws still govern your employment, even if you work for a Texas business. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938 sets the federal minimum that employers can pay their employees.
Child labor practices, minimum wages, record-keeping rules, and overtime pay are all regulated by the FLSA. Additionally, states can establish laws that provide additional rights for employees; however, they cannot offer less than those benefits provided by the FLSA. The result is that Texas does not have its own overtime law. Instead, it goes by federal laws.
Texas Overtime Calculations
Texas Payday Law and the FLSA define the workweek as a continuous stretch of seven consecutive 24 hour days. While there’s no mandate on when the week needs to start an end, these days need to be consecutive and for seven straight days in a row.
Employees are compensated for working more than 40 hours in a workweek in one of the following ways according to state laws:
- Either requiring or allowing employees to take “comp time” for every hour worked over 40 at a rate of 1.5 for each of those additional hours
- Or being paid at a rate of 1.5 times the regular rate for each hour worked over 40 in a single workweek
Employees Exempt from Overtime Pay
Not everyone is eligible to earn overtime pay under federal law. Exempt employees are those not covered by the FLSA, and Texas employees fall under these exemptions as well. You are considered “exempt” and not covered by the FLSA if you earn a salary over a certain annual amount defined by the law. Even if you work more than 40 hours a week as an exempt employee, you would not be entitled to overtime pay.
Employees that fall under the category of exempt are usually seasonal workers, salaried employees, and staff that earn a particular salary each year. Other jobs are defined as exempt. Here are a few:
- Certain Airline Employees
- Delivery Drivers (those paid on approved trip rate plans)
- Railroad Workers
- Taxi Drivers
Overtime Pay Versus Comp Time
Public employees in Texas are entitled to “comp time” as an alternative to overtime pay. This “comp time” must be done on a time and a half basis to make up for the hours of overtime a nonexempt employee works. There are a few exceptions:
- Nonexempt employees must be paid cash for additional hours of overtime worked after 240 compensatory hours in one year.
- Firefighters, police, other types of public safety personnel must be compensated in cash after 480 hours of compensatory hours in one year.
Your employer may be violating Texas overtime laws if they pay you in “comp time” even though you do not work for a government agency. It is a violation of overtime law for your employer to tell you to take 5 hours off next week if you worked 45 hours in the current week. In this case, you would need to be paid for the excess hours worked.
Law Recap of Texas Overtime
Below are the main outlines for overtime laws in Texas:
|State and Federal Statutes
- Texas Labor Code 61 § 61.001(4) (Texas Payday Law)
- Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Overtime Provision
- Hourly: An employee earns overtime at a rate of time and a half for each hour over 40 worked in a single week.
- Hourly Plus Bonus and/or Commission: To find out how much overtime must be paid in a work week, take the total hours and multiply it by the hourly rate. Add to this number any bonus or commission. Then divide this number by the hours in work week. Overtime pay is compensated at 1.5 times each hour worked over 40.
- Salary: Divide the regular rate by the number of hours the salary should cover.
- Any hours less than 40 are to be paid at the regular rate.
- Hours over 40 are to be paid at time and a half.
- These types of employees are not entitled to overtime pay
- Outside Sales
- Railroad Workers (most)
- Salary Level Test (pay over federally determined wage)
- Supervisory Employee (management as primary duty)
- Truck Drivers (most)
Note: It is essential to conduct your research or to speak with an attorney qualified in Texas wage laws. These laws are subject to change. You need to make sure you verify any information about wage laws.
Review the Laws
If you still have questions over federal and state wage laws, you can look into the following:
- Official State Codes
- Federal Wage Law: The Fair Labor Standards Act
- An Experienced Lawyer Qualified in Wage Law
Contact a Lawyer to File an Overtime Claim
If you feel that an employer has taken advantage of you or someone you care about, please get in touch with the Lemberg Law legal team. Complete our form for a FREE case evaluation, or call 475-277-2200 NOW. You may be entitled to compensation for damages, injuries, or lost wages for Federal and state wage law violations.