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e-CFR data is current as of November 30, 2020

Title 29Subtitle BChapter VSubchapter BPart 778Subpart D → Subject Group


Title 29: Labor
PART 778—OVERTIME COMPENSATION
Subpart D—Special Problems


Lump Sum Attributed to Overtime

§778.308   The overtime rate is an hourly rate.

(a) Section 7(a) of the Act requires the payment of overtime compensation for hours worked in excess of the applicable maximum hours standard at a rate not less than one and one-half times the regular rate. The overtime rate, like the regular rate, is a rate per hour. Where employees are paid on some basis other than an hourly rate, the regular hourly rate is derived, as previously explained, by dividing the total compensation (except statutory exclusions) by the total hours of work for which the payment is made. To qualify as an overtime premium under section 7(e)(5), (6), or (7), the extra compensation for overtime hours must be paid pursuant to a premium rate which is likewise a rate per hour (subject to certain statutory exceptions discussed in §§778.400 through 778.421).

(b) To qualify under section 7(e)(5), the overtime rate must be greater than the regular rate, either a fixed amount per hour or a multiple of the nonovertime rate, such as one and one-third, one and one-half or two times that rate. To qualify under section 7(e) (6) or (7), the overtime rate may not be less than one and one-half times the bonafide rate established in good faith for like work performed during nonovertime hours. Thus, it may not be less than time and one-half but it may be more. It may be a standard multiple greater than one and one-half (for example, double time); or it may be a fixed sum of money per hour which is, as an arithmetical fact, at least one and one-half times the nonovertime rate for example, if the nonovertime rate is $5 per hour, the overtime rate may not be less than $7.50 but may be set at a higher arbitrary figure such as $8 per hour.

[33 FR 986, Jan. 26, 1968, as amended at 46 FR 7314, Jan. 23, 1981]

§778.309   Fixed sum for constant amount of overtime.

Where an employee works a regular fixed number of hours in excess of the statutory maximum each workweek, it is, of course, proper to pay him, in addition to his compensation for nonovertime hours, a fixed sum in any such week for his overtime work, determined by multiplying his overtime rate by the number of overtime hours regularly worked.

§778.310   Fixed sum for varying amounts of overtime.

A premium in the form of a lump sum which is paid for work performed during overtime hours without regard to the number of overtime hours worked does not qualify as an overtime premium even though the amount of money may be equal to or greater than the sum owed on a per hour basis. For example, an agreement that provides for the payment of a flat sum of $75 to employees who work on Sunday does not provide a premium which will qualify as an overtime premium, even though the employee's straight time rate is $5 an hour and the employee always works less than 10 hours on Sunday. Likewise, where an agreement provides for the payment for work on Sunday of either the flat sum of $75 or time and one-half the employee's regular rate for all hours worked on Sunday, whichever is greater, the $75 guaranteed payment is not an overtime premium. The reason for this is clear. If the rule were otherwise, an employer desiring to pay an employee a fixed salary regardless of the number of hours worked in excess of the applicable maximum hours standard could merely label as overtime pay a fixed portion of such salary sufficient to take care of compensation for the maximum number of hours that would be worked. The Congressional purpose to effectuate a maximum hours standard by placing a penalty upon the performance of excessive overtime work would thus be defeated. For this reason, where extra compensation is paid in the form of a lump sum for work performed in overtime hours, it must be included in the regular rate and may not be credited against statutory overtime compensation due.

[46 FR 7314, Jan. 23, 1981]

§778.311   Flat rate for special job performed in overtime hours.

(a) Flat rate is not an overtime premium. The same reasoning applies where employees are paid a flat rate for a special job performed during overtime hours, without regard to the time actually consumed in performance. (This situation should be distinguished from “show-up” and “call-back” pay situations discussed in §§778.220 through 778.222 and from payment at a rate not less than one and one-half times the applicable rate to pieceworkers for work performed during overtime hours, as discussed in §§778.415 through 778.421). The total amount paid must be included in the regular rate; no part of the amount may be credited toward statutory overtime compensation due.

(b) Application of rule illustrated. It may be helpful to give a specific example illustrating the result of paying an employee on the basis under discussion.

(1) An employment agreement calls for the payment of $5 per hour for work during the hours established in good faith as the basic workday or workweek; it provides for the payment of $7.50 per hour for work during hours outside the basic workday or workweek. It further provides that employees doing a special task outside the basic workday or workweek shall receive 6 hours' pay at the rate of $7.50 per hour (a total payment of $45) regardless of the time actually consumed in performance. The applicable maximum hours standard is 40 hours in a workweek.

(2) Suppose an employee under such an agreement works the following schedule:

   MTWTFSS
Hours within basic workday8878800
Pay under contract$40$40$35$40$4000
Hours outside basic workday22110040
Pay under contract$15$45$7.5000$300

1Hours spent in the performance of special work.

(3) To determine the regular rate, the total compensation (except statutory exclusions) must be divided by the total number of hours worked. The only sums to be excluded in this situation are the extra premiums provided by a premium rate (a rate per hour) for work outside the basic workday and workweek, which qualify for exclusion under section 7(e)(7) of the Act, as discussed in §778.204. The $15 paid on Monday, the $7.50 paid on Wednesday and the $30 paid on Saturday are paid pursuant to rates which qualify as premium rates under section 7(e)(7) of the Act. The total extra compensation (over the straight time pay for these hours) provided by these premium rates is $17.50. The sum of $17.50 should be subtracted from the total of $292.50 due the employee under the employment agreement. No part of the $45 payment for the special work performed on Tuesday qualifies for exclusion. The remaining $275 must thus be divided by 48 hours to determine the regular rate—$5.73 per hour. The employee is owed an additional one-half this rate under the Act for each of 8 overtime hours worked—$22.92. The extra compensation in the amount of $17.50 payable pursuant to contract premium rates which qualify as overtime premiums may be credited toward the $22.92 owed as statutory overtime premiums. No part of the $45 payment may be so credited. The employer must pay the employee an additional $5.42 as statutory overtime pay—a total of $297.92 for the week.

[33 FR 986, Jan. 26, 1968, as amended at 46 FR 7315, Jan. 23, 1981]

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