Overtime pay in New Mexico is often surrounded by misconceptions, potentially leading workers to miss out on the earnings they deserve. This blog aims to clarify these common misunderstandings and provide insight into what overtime pay entails. By unraveling the rules and regulations, we hope to empower you with the knowledge necessary to ensure you receive fair compensation for your hard work.

What Is Overtime Pay?

Overtime pay in New Mexico is additional compensation for hours worked beyond the standard 40-hour workweek. According to state law, employees are typically entitled to one and a half times their regular pay rate for every hour worked over 40 hours. This extra pay is designed to compensate for extended work hours fairly. It’s important for you to understand when and how overtime pay applies, as it ensures you’re receiving the full benefits of your labor. Whether you’re paid hourly or salaried, knowing your rights to overtime pay is a fundamental aspect of employment.

Misconception 1: Overtime Only for Hourly Employees

A common misconception is that only hourly employees are eligible for overtime pay, but this isn’t the case. In New Mexico, certain salaried employees can also qualify for overtime. The eligibility depends on factors like job duties and salary level. For instance, a salaried employee earning less than a specified annual amount or those whose primary duties are not managerial, administrative, or professional may be entitled to overtime. Job titles alone do not determine overtime eligibility. A salaried position might still require overtime compensation, depending on the nature of the work and the salary. 

Misconception 2: Waiving Right to Overtime

It’s a widespread belief that employees can waive their right to overtime pay, but this is not the case. In New Mexico, the law firmly protects an employee’s right to overtime compensation, regardless of any agreement to the contrary. Whether it’s a verbal understanding or a written contract suggesting that you’re not entitled to overtime, such agreements are generally unenforceable. This protection is in place to prevent exploitation and ensure fair compensation for all hours worked. If you’re asked to waive your overtime rights, it’s important to recognize that such requests are not in line with the law, and seeking legal counsel can help address these situations effectively.

Misconception 3: Certain Jobs Are Exempt from Overtime

Many people mistakenly believe that certain jobs are automatically exempt from overtime pay, but this isn’t accurate. In New Mexico, overtime exemptions are based on specific criteria, not just job titles. Commonly misunderstood roles, like some managerial, administrative, or professional positions, may not be exempt if they don’t meet the defined exemption criteria. These criteria often involve the nature of the duties performed and the employee’s salary. You need to assess whether your job truly qualifies for an exemption. Just because a role seems high-level or specialized doesn’t automatically exclude it from overtime eligibility. Knowing the exact criteria for exemptions can help ensure you’re not wrongfully denied overtime pay.

How to Address Overtime Issues

If you suspect you’re not receiving the overtime pay you’re entitled to, it’s important to take action. Start by reviewing your work hours and pay stubs to confirm discrepancies. Keeping detailed records of your work hours is crucial in these situations. If you find inconsistencies, approach your employer for clarification. It’s possible that the issue may be resolved through a simple conversation. However, seeking legal advice is a wise step if the matter isn’t settled amicably. An employment law attorney can help you understand your rights and the best course of action. 

Have Questions About Overtime Pay in New Mexico? The Lore Law Firm Can Help

At the Lore Law Firm, we’re dedicated to ensuring your rights are respected, and you receive the compensation you deserve. With our experience in employment law, we can guide you through the complexities of overtime pay in New Mexico. If you’re facing overtime pay issues, don’t hesitate to reach out through our free and confidential online client intake form.