In extraordinary circumstances, employees earn double-time pay for working long hours. But who is eligible to earn overtime, and how likely is it to happen?
Double Time Requirements
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which oversees federal overtime, minimum wage, child labor, and record-keeping laws, does not require double-time pay to be paid under any circumstances.
According to the Department of Labor’s web page, “Extra pay for working weekends or nights is a matter of agreement between the employer and the employee (or the employee’s representative). The FLSA does not require extra pay for weekend or night work or double time pay.” Regardless of irregular situations or length of hours worked, there are no nation-wide laws that enforce double-time payment in any capacity.
Some states have their own overtime laws that provide additional benefits to employees, such as California, which is the sole state to require double-time payment. In California, nonexempt employees receive overtime pay (time and a half) after working 8 hours in a day and double-time pay for working over 12 hours. On the 7th consecutive day of work, employees receive time and a half for the first 8 hours worked and double time for hours worked over 8.
Many employers take up the practice of paying employees overtime or double time for federal holidays. However, the FLSA does not require employers to pay employees for time not worked, such as vacations or holidays (federal or otherwise). The Department of Labor says that these benefits are generally a matter of agreement between an employer and an employee (or the employee’s representative).
While employers must pay employees for all time worked, including on holidays, employers are not required to pay premium pay for working on holidays. However, in practice, many employers do provide additional pay for working on a holiday. Realistically, most employees outside of California will never receive double-time wages in their lifetime, since double-time pay is not enforced by federal law or any other state laws.
However, employers can offer employees double-time payment if they wish, and some do.