Home > Blog posts > 5 Simple Steps to Correctly CalculateOvertime Pay for Your Employees

5 Simple Steps to Correctly CalculateOvertime Pay for Your Employees

Thomas Simon

1. Determine Regular Pay Rate

Before calculating overtime pay, it’s essential to establish the regular pay rate for each employee. This is typically the hourly wage that an employee earns for standard work hours. To determine the regular pay rate, follow these steps:

  • Review the employment contract or agreement to identify the agreed-upon hourly wage.
  • If the employee is salaried, divide the total salary by the number of hours the employee is expected to work in a pay period to get the hourly rate.
  • Consider any shift differentials or pay premiums that may apply to the employee’s regular rate.

It’s important to note that bonuses, commissions, and other forms of compensation may also need to be included in the calculation of the regular pay rate, depending on labor laws and regulations. Once the regular pay rate is established, you can move on to determining overtime eligibility.

2. Identify Overtime Eligibility

Before calculating overtime pay, it’s crucial to determine which employees are eligible for overtime. Not all employees are entitled to overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Generally, hourly workers are eligible, but there are exemptions for certain types of employees, such as those in managerial or professional roles.

To identify overtime eligibility, consider the following steps:

  • Review the FLSA guidelines to understand the criteria for overtime eligibility.
  • Examine the job descriptions and duties of your employees to categorize them correctly.
  • Consult with a labor law expert or attorney if you are unsure about an employee’s eligibility status.

Remember, misclassifying employees can lead to legal issues and penalties. It’s important to stay informed about the latest regulations and to regularly review your employees’ overtime eligibility.

Get more out of your business

Get the best employee engagement content every week via mailing list

Start Your 10-Day Trial

3. Calculate Overtime Rate

Once you’ve determined the regular pay rate and identified which employees are eligible for overtime, the next step is to calculate the overtime rate. In the United States, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) typically requires that overtime is paid at a rate of one and a half times the employee’s regular rate of pay for hours worked beyond the standard 40-hour workweek.

To calculate the overtime rate, follow these simple steps:

  • Multiply the regular hourly rate by 1.5.
  • If the employee has different rates for different types of work, use the weighted average to determine the regular rate before multiplying by 1.5.
  • For employees on a salary, divide the weekly salary by the number of regular hours worked to find the regular hourly rate, then multiply by 1.5 for the overtime rate.

It’s important to note that some states have their own overtime laws that may require double time pay for hours worked over a certain limit in a workday or workweek. Always check your state’s regulations to ensure compliance.

4. Track Overtime Hours

Accurate tracking of overtime hours is crucial for correct overtime pay calculation. Implement a reliable system to record the hours worked by each employee. This can be done through manual timesheets, digital time-tracking software, or a combination of both.

  • Establish Clear Policies: Ensure that all employees understand the process for recording their time, including clocking in and out for shifts and breaks.
  • Regularly Review Records: Check time records regularly to prevent errors and ensure compliance with labor laws.
  • Maintain Records: Keep detailed records of all hours worked, as they may be required for audits or disputes regarding overtime pay.

5. Apply Overtime Rules

Once you have determined the regular pay rate, identified overtime eligibility, calculated the overtime rate, and tracked overtime hours, the final step is to apply the overtime rules to calculate the total overtime pay. Different states and industries may have specific regulations, so it’s crucial to be aware of the rules that apply to your business.

  • Start by multiplying the overtime rate by the number of overtime hours worked.
  • Add this amount to the employee’s regular pay to get the total compensation for the pay period.
  • Ensure that all overtime pay is included in the employee’s paycheck for the corresponding pay period.

Remember to maintain accurate records of all overtime pay calculations. This documentation will be essential in the event of any disputes or audits. By following these steps and staying informed about legal requirements, you can ensure that your employees are compensated fairly for their overtime work.


Calculating overtime pay is a crucial task for any employer to ensure fair compensation for their employees’ extra hours of work. By following the five simple steps outlined in this article, you can accurately determine the overtime pay owed to your team members. Remember to always stay updated with the latest labor laws and regulations to maintain compliance. With the right tools, such as an overtime calculator, and a clear understanding of how to apply the overtime pay rules, you can streamline the process and avoid costly mistakes. Taking the time to correctly calculate overtime pay not only benefits your employees but also reinforces the trust and integrity of your business.

Try Monitask

Track employee productivity and simplify work with them

Start Your 10-Day Trial

Frequently Asked Questions

What constitutes regular pay rate when calculating overtime?

Regular pay rate is the employee’s normal hourly wage. To calculate it, divide the total pay for employment (excluding overtime premiums) by the total number of hours worked.

How do I determine if an employee is eligible for overtime?

Overtime eligibility is often determined by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in the U.S. Generally, employees who work over 40 hours a week are eligible, but there are exemptions, so check your local labor laws.

What is the standard overtime rate?

The standard overtime rate is typically 1.5 times the employee’s regular pay rate. This is known as ‘time and a half.’ For every hour worked over the standard 40-hour workweek, this rate applies.

How should overtime hours be tracked?

Overtime hours should be accurately tracked using timesheets or time-tracking software. Ensure that all hours worked, including those beyond the standard workweek, are recorded.

Are there different overtime rules for different types of employees?

Yes, overtime rules can vary depending on the type of employee, such as exempt vs. non-exempt, and the industry they work in. Always refer to your local regulations for specific rules.

Can overtime pay be waived by an agreement between employer and employee?

No, overtime pay cannot be waived by agreement. Overtime provisions are required by law, and employees must be compensated accordingly for all overtime hours worked.


Popular Articles

Try Monitask now.
First 10 days free

No credit card required