Both employers and employees need to have a complete understanding of Texas overtime laws. Individuals and corporations who fail to comply with these laws often face stiff penalties, including high fines and even criminal prosecution.

Although many states have adopted their own laws with regard to overtime pay, Texas has not. Instead, Texas uses federal labor laws. These laws can be complex and difficult to interpret. For more information about managing overtime payments to employees, you should contact Houston business attorney Andrew Weisblatt of The Weisblatt Law Firm, LLC.

What Is Overtime?

In a nutshell, overtime refers to the number of hours beyond 40 that an employee works in a given week. Employers determine overtime amounts on a week-by-week basis. In other words, an employer cannot average two consecutive weeks of work in order to avoid paying an employee the overtime compensation he or she deserves.

Overtime compensation is equal to one-and-one-half times the employee’s normal rate of pay. For example, if an employee normally makes $10.00 per hour, then he or she is owed $15.00 per hour for every hour worked beyond the required 40.

In Texas, employees who work overtime are entitled to compensation unless the U.S. Department of Labor deems them exempt. Employees who are exempt from overtime include the following:

  • Teachers
  • Professionals
  • Business executives
  • Positions in which the employee receives a commission

With regard to holiday overtime, there are no applicable provisions under the law. While some Texas companies choose to pay their employees overtime for working on federal holidays, not all companies do so.

When employers fail to pay their employees overtime—or do not pay them the proper amount of overtime—they can be subject to monetary fines and other serious penalties.

Overtime Pay versus Comp Time

When it comes to managing payments to employees, overtime is different from comp time. Comp time basically translates into a period of time off (instead of cash), which is comparable to the number of hours you worked above 40 in a given week.

If you do not work for an agency of the federal government and your employer offers you comp time instead of paying you overtime, your employer may be violating the law. Such would be the case if you worked 42 hours one week and your employer told you that you could take two hours off the following week to account for the difference. That is not acceptable, and your employer is required to pay you overtime for the extra two hours that you worked.

Talk to a Houston Business Attorney Today

Overtime laws in Texas can be difficult to understand. If you have questions about managing overtime payments to employees, business attorney Andrew Weisblatt of The Weisblatt Law Firm, LLC, can address all of your legal concerns and ensure that you are fully complying with all of the applicable Texas laws and regulations.

To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a Houston business attorney, please call us today at (713) 352-0847, or contact us online.