Q. What is a "workweek?"

A. The term "workweek" means a period of 168 hours during 7 consecutive 24-hour periods – a 7 consecutive day period. A workweek can begin on any day of the week chosen by the employer, and each workweek stands alone; therefore, an employer cannot average 2 or more workweeks when calculating overtime. If an employee works more than 40 hours in any 1 workweek, regardless of how many hours were worked in the prior or following workweek, they are entitled to overtime pay for those hours.


With a few exceptions for special classes of workers, if an employee works 50 hours in one workweek and then 30 hours the following workweek, they are entitled to 10 hours of overtime pay for the first workweek, even though the average for the two week period is 40 hours per week.

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.