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Understanding overtime pay and comp time

Texas workers attend their jobs with the expectation of being paid for their time commitment. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for employers to underpay their employees. Regardless of whether this is due to a lack of knowledge or an actual intent to keep more money in the business, employees need to understand their rights to compensation.

Defining overtime

The traditional workweek is considered to be 40 hours. Any time over these 40 hours is to be considered overtime work and paid at an overtime rate. This holds true for employees who are paid on an hourly basis. Employees who are paid on a salary basis aren’t covered under overtime rules.

The overtime pay rate is set by federal and state laws. The federal law is currently at 1.5 times the employee’s regular pay rate. If you’re not being paid at 1.5 times your rate for any hours worked over 40 in a week, then you’ll need to submit an overtime compensation claim. If state law specifies a higher overtime pay rate, then the employer must compensate the employee with the higher rate.

Comp time

Public employers throughout the state of Texas may offer comp time for the overtime hours worked by an employee. Comp time is essentially paid time off that is equal to 1.5 times the number of overtime hours worked. Most non-exempt employees may stockpile up to 240 hours of comp time. Public safety personnel may stock up to 480 hours of comp time. After reaching these limits, the employee must be paid cash for any additional overtime hours that they work.

As an employee, you should understand what your employment rights are. Overtime pay and comp time are two of the most misunderstood types of workplace compensation. To ensure that you’re receiving the benefits that you’re entitled to, it’s vital to understand both overtime rates and comp time laws in your state.