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If you’re working part-time, you might be asking yourself whether you are eligible for overtime pay. This question is common due to the complexities surrounding part-time employment and overtime compensation laws. Knowing the criteria for overtime eligibility is essential, whether you’re putting in extra hours at your part-time job or juggling multiple roles. Here we’ll explore the factors that determine overtime pay for part-time employees.

Understanding Overtime Pay: The Basics

Overtime pay, a form of compensation for hours worked beyond the standard workweek, is a key aspect of employment law. Typically, the standard workweek is defined as 40 hours, and any hours worked beyond this threshold may qualify for overtime. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets the rules for overtime pay, generally mandating that eligible employees receive one and a half times their regular pay rate for overtime hours. 

However, not all employees are automatically eligible for this pay rate increase. Factors like the type of employment, job responsibilities, pay structure and amount, and even the state in which you work can influence overtime eligibility. Part-time employees need to understand these nuances, as they directly affect their rights and paycheck. By grasping the basics of overtime pay, you can better navigate your employment situation and recognize if and when you’re entitled to this additional compensation.

Part-Time vs. Full-Time: What’s the Difference?

The distinction between part-time and full-time employment primarily hinges on the number of hours worked per week. Full-time employees typically work a standard 40-hour week, while part-time employees work fewer hours, often less than 35 per week. This difference in work hours not only impacts lifestyle and scheduling but also affects eligibility for benefits and overtime pay, with varying implications under employment law. 

Eligibility for Overtime Pay as a Part-Time Employee

Eligibility for overtime pay as a part-time employee can be complicated. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the key factor is not whether you are part-time or full-time, but whether you exceed the standard 40-hour workweek. Part-time employees who work over 40 hours in a week are generally entitled to overtime pay, just like their full-time counterparts. However, the complexity arises because many part-time jobs typically offer less than 40 hours per week. 

It’s important to note that some states have their own overtime laws with different thresholds. For instance, in California, employees are eligible for overtime not just for over 40 hours a week, but also for more than 8 hours in a single day. Understanding these specific legal standards in your state is crucial for determining if your part-time status still qualifies you for overtime pay under different circumstances.

Common Misconceptions About Part-time Employment and Overtime

A common misconception about part-time employment is that part-time workers are categorically ineligible for overtime pay. This is not true; overtime eligibility hinges on hours worked, not job status. Another common myth is that part-time jobs inherently offer fewer hours, thus precluding the possibility of overtime. In reality, part-time employees can end up working extra hours, sometimes crossing the overtime threshold. Also, some believe that state laws do not apply to part-time positions, but state-specific overtime laws can impact part-time workers significantly. 

How to Determine If You’re Owed Overtime Pay

Determining if you’re owed overtime pay as a part-time employee involves a few key steps. First, carefully track your working hours. Overtime is generally owed when you work over 40 hours in a week under federal law, but this can vary by state. Next, understand your employment classification. Not all employees are eligible for overtime; it depends on your job duties and pay structure. For instance, certain managerial or professional roles may be exempt. It is also important to be aware of your state’s specific overtime laws, as they can offer greater protections than federal standards. If your hours exceed these thresholds, and you’re in a non-exempt role, you likely qualify for overtime pay.

Contact the Lore Law Firm About Your Right to Overtime Pay

If you suspect you’re not receiving the overtime pay you deserve, it’s important to take action. At the Lore Law Firm, we’re dedicated to helping employees like you navigate these complex issues. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us through our free and confidential online client intake form. Our team is ready to offer guidance and support to protect your rights in the workplace.

Michael Lore is the founder of The Lore Law Firm. For over 25 years, his law practice and experience extend from representing individuals in all aspects of labor & employment law, with a concentration in class and collective actions seeking to recover unpaid back overtime wages, to matters involving executive severance negotiations, non-compete provisions and serious personal injury (work and non-work related). He has handled matters both in the state and federal courts nationwide as well as via related administrative agencies. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Michael by using our chat functionality.