When is overtime pay required?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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When is overtime pay required?

I am an hourly employee. Our company employs a consultant to answer after hour calls from home from 4 pm to 7 am. This employee is going on maternity and they are asking me to fill those hours for the month she will be off. Do they have to pay me overtime? Can they require me to work 30 nights without a night off? This is a company that has a contract with the federal government.

Asked on August 1, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Missouri


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Overtime is required when you actually perform work (not merely being "on call") for more than 40 hours in a workweek, since as an hourly employee, you are not exempt from overtime. It doesn't matter when (e.g. morning, afternoon, evening, night) you do the work, or how many hours you do in a day: all that matters is weekly hours. All time past 40 hours is overtime.
Yes, they can require you work any number of nights--even 365 per year--without time off, unless you have a written employment contract guarantying you certain time off: if you do, they have to honor the contract. But without a contract, there is no guaranty of time off in the law.

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