Many jobs pay a “Day Rate”. The Day Rate pays a set amount no matter how many hours are worked. Even if you are paid a Day Rate, you are still owed overtime above the Day Rate when you work more than 40 hours in a single week .
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires overtime pay for most jobs. When more than 40 hours are worked in a week, overtime is paid at 1 ½ times the worker’s Regular Rate of pay.
I. What is a Day Rate?
When paid by a Daily Rate, the worker earns a set amount for the day no matter how many hours are worked. This can be good for both the worker and the employer. The worker knows how much he/she will be paid even if there is not 8 hours of work. The employer can predict payroll and a Day Rate may help retain workers. Day Rates are common in landscaping and construction jobs where work can be dependent on weather or the performance of other trades on the job. Some highly skilled installation technicians and computer technicians not otherwise exempt from overtime also are paid a Day Rate.
II. Do I still Earn Overtime?
However, paying a Day Rate does not excuse the need to pay overtime at a 1 ½ rate.
III. How is Overtime Calculated on a Day Rate?
Suppose the worker’s Day Rate is $80.00 per day. The employee works 5 days per week for a total weekly pay of $80.00 x 5 days = $400.00.
To calculate overtime for a Day Rate job, the total weekly pay is divided by the total number of hours worked during the week. For example, suppose the above worker works 45 hours during the week. Then the weekly earnings of $400 is divided by 45 hours = $8.89 per hour.
Overtime is paid at a rate of 1 ½ times $8.89 for this worker. Because the Day Rate has paid the “straight time” for all hour worked (the 1 times each hour has been paid already.) The worker should be paid in addition to the day rate the ½ of $8.89 ( $4.45) for each hour over 40 in a work week!
If the worker averages 5 overtime hours per week, this can amount to a sizable amount:
5 hours x 52 weeks = 260 overtime hours
260 hours x $4.45 (½ x $8.89) = $1,157.00 in additional overtime pay.
In addition to actual overtime damages, the worker can recover liquidated damages in an additional equal amount of $1,157.00 ( a total of $2314.00), and attorney’s fees and costs.
IV. What is Paid Work Time?
Workers paid a Day Rate still need to keep track of their paid work time to see when the total goes above 40 in a week.
What is paid work time? Workers who arrive at the office and then travel to work site are on paid work time traveling from the office to the work site. It is paid time traveling between work sites during the work day. Paid work time includes loading the trucks in the morning with tools or materials. A shortened meal break must be paid time unless it is uninterrupted and 30 minutes or more. Rest Breaks are customarily paid time if they are 20 minutes or less. Staying later than normal end of day at the work site is paid work time.
Many Day Rate jobs require working long hours working until the job is done. There is often no time clock at the work site. The employer many times does not watch closely how much time is recorded because they believe they don’t owe overtime on top of the Day Rate. The employee needs to protect themselves and keep a record of how long they work each day.
V. Collect Your Overtime.
If you are paid a Day Rate, you are still entitled to overtime pay for over 40 work hours in a week. Check to make sure you keep a record of all time worked. All of this time counts toward the 40 hours in a work week.
The Ken S. Nugent Overtime and Unpaid Wages team of attorneys covers the entire state of Georgia. We have eight Georgia offices ready to protect workers in small town and rural areas who are being cheated on their earned overtime. We have an office with overtime attorneys near you: Albany, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Duluth, Macon, Savannah, and Valdosta.
The Ken S. Nugent, P.C. Overtime and Unpaid Wages team of attorneys can help employees collect (1) back wages for all “Hours Worked” and any unpaid overtime, plus (2) liquidated damages in an additional amount of the same back wages and overtime, and (3) attorney’s fees and costs.