Coping with Overtime

d04a.jpg (7183 bytes)Medical emergencies don’t follow a 9 to 5 schedule — neither do equipment breakdowns. Overtime work comes with the territory for biomed techs.

Several factors influence the likelihood that an employee will be required to work overtime, and what compensation rate is due. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the Federal law which sets minimum wage, overtime, recordkeeping, and child labor standards. This law takes precedence over state statutes except when the state statute is more beneficial to the employee. Unions typically negotiate terms of employment favorable to employees. Even without a union, many employers will offer more to their employees than the law requires so they can attract and retain qualified staff.

Eligibility for overtime pay
Under the FLSA, the method of payment — salary or hourly — does not determine eligibility for overtime. While all hourly workers are eligible for overtime (non-exempt from overtime regulations) not all salaried employees are exempt. There are minimum salary requirements for exemption; with certain exceptions, “salaried” employees must receive their full salary for any workweek in which they perform any work without regard to the number of days or hours worked; and an exempt employee may receive extra pay for additional work.

Employee categories exempt from required overtime pay are executive, administrative, professional, and outside sales, provided they meet tests regarding job duties and responsibilities. For example, a “manager” who does actual production work more than 50 percent of the time does not qualify for the executive exemption. Administrative employees perform office or non-manual work relating to management policies or general business operations. Professional employees perform work which requires specialized study or the exercise of creativity.

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