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Question regarding overtime pay New Jersey

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  • Question regarding overtime pay New Jersey

    First I want to say I truly enjoy this forum. Thank you!

    Now to my present issue... overtime pay. Here's the scenario:
    Time cards are being used - the employees punch-in upon arrival on-site and punch out at the end of their shift. Lunch-time is paid by employer - the employee's DO NOT punch in and out for lunch breaks. Many employees accomulate more than forty (40) hours per week on their time cards. The former office manager would process the payroll as 100% regular hours worked - even when total hours was over 40 hours per work week. No overtime was paid. When I inquired, her reasoning was, "its hours WORKED. The employees WORKED 43 hours so they only get 43 hours regular time, because the company pays for 1/2 hour lunch break - they don't start getting overtime until after 42 1/2 hours are logged on their timecards. Their are multiple companies under one tax identification - and the other companies are paying their employees for anything over 40 hours in a work week. So, which is the legal method? Thanks for helping me with this important issue.
    DeeDee

  • #2
    Under the FLSA, only hours worked are required to be counted. New Jersey does have some strange requirements, though, regarding paid meal periods if the employee is required to stay on the premises. I'd recommend giving the state DOL a call, but I would be surprised if this paid meal period needed to be counted.
    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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    • #3
      I am not aware of any state, even NJ, where overtime must be counted against hours paid as opposed to hours worked. If they are not WORKING during their lunch break, whether it is paid time is irrelevant. I will be enormously surprised if the NJ DOL requires paid, but non-working, time to be counted in overtime calculations.
      The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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      • #4
        Update: I discovered that the company pays some employees overtime for more than 40 hours per week. While others must work 42.5 hours at regular rate - after the 42.5 hours of working hours than overtime pay is calculated. All employees get .5 hour of paid lunch break. I'm wondering is it legal to pay some employees for overtime once they reach 40 hours, yet another group has to accumulate 42.5 hours of working time before overtime is paid.
        DeeDee

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        • #5
          Just for clarification, overtime must be paid when the employee has WORKED over 40 hours. If they are paid for 2.5 hours that they are not working but on lunch break, those hours are not working hours; they are paid hours. If they are actually working during that time, then it must be paid as overtime under Federal law.
          The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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