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Double Time vs Overtime in 2024: When is an Employee Entitled to Pay?

Double time is a type of work in which an employee is eligible for double his or her normal hourly pay, whereas overtime work pays 1.5 times the normal rate.
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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt

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When is an Employee Entitled to Overtime Pay?

If an employee is covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act, they must receive overtime pay at a rate of 1.5 times their regular pay for any hours worked over 40 in a given workweek. However, unless an employee works overtime on these days, FLSA does not guarantee payment of overtime for work performed on weekends, days of rest, or holidays.

The FLSA is applied based on a workweek, which refers to a constant and static 168-hour period, which equals 7 consecutive 24-hour periods. Said workweek does not necessarily have to comport with the standard calendar week and can begin on any day at any time.

When is an Employee Entitled to Double Time?

California is the only state in the U.S. that has double-time laws on the books. In California, when an employee works more than 12 hours in a single day or works 7 or more consecutive days, he or she is entitled to double-time pay.

Related Article: California’s New Mandatory Overtime Law for 2023

Can You Make Double Time on a Salary?

To calculate a double-time pay rate for a salaried worker, simply convert the employee's lump sum compensation into an hourly rate.

This hourly rate conversion may change from week to week, depending on how many hours the employee logged. Eligible workers should check their employment contract to determine how many hours per week their normal salary covers (typically 35 to 40 hours).

Also Read: What are the Rules for Reporting Time Pay?

What is a Double Day Shift?

A double-day, also known as a 2-shift working pattern, is composed of 2 successive shifts (i.e. working 6 AM to 2 PM and then again from 2 PM to 10 PM). These shifts are alternatively referred to as 'earlies' or 'latest.' Double days may be alternated weekly, and are often used in hospital wards or during busy periods.

Also Read: Overtime for Nurses?

Why Employers Hate Paying Overtime

At first, glance, paying employees extra wages for working overtime may seem like a quick fix to increase output. However, as so often is the case with quick fixes, overtime shifts can actually hurt your business in the long run.

Not only does overtime mean that employers pay more for less work, but the practice also contributes to an unhealthy workplace culture that leads to increased stress, sick days, and higher turnover rates.

Studies have found that the vast majority of people are only really productive for 3 hours a day. As the hours drag on, it becomes less likely that those final overtime hours will coincide with an increase in productivity. In fact, requiring long hours is a surefire way to kill efficiency because financial incentives can’t replace human psychology.

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