Employers and employees both need to understand the Texas overtime laws. There are stiff penalties for those who willfully do not comply with these laws.  The state of Texas follows the federal labor laws, and has not adopted any of their own as some other states have done.

According to the Texas overtime laws, employers are required to pay their employees overtime pay for hours worked over forty hours a week. However, employers may violate these overtime laws.

Texas overtime laws require that overtime pay should be no less than one and one-half times the employee’s regular rate of pay.  The only employees that should not receive overtime pay are those that are exempt. Texas follows the federal laws regarding exempt employees.

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Exempt employees are strictly defined by the Department of Labor and include employees such as executives, administrators, professionals, teachers and certain commissioned positions.

Texas overtime laws do not provide provisions for Holidays.  Some companies will pay their employees time and a half for working on federal holidays but the decision to do so varies from company to company.

Because Texas overtime laws are sometimes complex, it can be difficult for an employee to know if he or she should be paid overtime and there are many common misconceptions regarding overtime.  If your private employer is giving you comp time instead of paying you overtime, they are likely breaking the law. Many private employers assume it is OK to give their employees comp time instead of the overtime pay they are entitled to but it is illegal!

Employers often assign employees more work than can be done in forty hours. The employee often stays late without being paid or takes the work home. If your employer is aware of this, you are entitled to overtime. When an employee must correct mistakes in his or her work, the time must be treated as hours worked. The correction of errors, or “rework”, is hours worked, even when the employee voluntarily does the rework.

Time that an employee is required to be at work or allowed to work for his or her employer is hours worked. A person hired to do nothing or to do nothing but wait for something to do or something to happen is still working. The Supreme Court has stated that employees subject to the FLSA must be paid for all the time spent in “physical or mental exertion (whether burdensome or not) controlled or required by the employer and pursued necessarily and primarily for the benefit of the employer of his business.”

Hours worked include all the time during which an employee is required or allowed to perform work for an employer, regardless of where the work is done, whether on the employer’s premises, at a designated work place, at home or at some other location.

It is the duty of management to exercise control and see that work is not performed if the employer does not want it to be performed. An employer cannot sit back and accept the benefits of an employee’s work without considering the time spent to be hours worked. Merely making a rule against such work is not enough. The employer has the power to enforce the rule and must make every effort to do so. Employees generally may not volunteer to perform work without the employer having to count the time as hours worked.

Have your own questions? Contact us and we can give you more information and review your specific circumstances. You can submit your information using the convenient online intake form, send an email or call Michael Lore.

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.