Some employees perform two separate jobs for the same employer. For instance, at a hotel, Employee X is the front desk clerk and the bookkeeper. If both the front desk clerk position and the bookkeeper position pay the same hourly pay rate, under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), if Employee X works in excess of 40 hours during a work week, the overtime pay rate is calculated at 1.5 times the hourly pay rate.
If these two jobs pay at different hourly pay rates, the FLSA allows two different methods – the weighted average method and the alternative method – for calculating the regular pay rate which is needed to calculate the overtime pay rate. If the employer and the employee do not have an agreement, preferably in writing, on which method will be used to calculate the overtime pay rate, under applicable federal regulations, the weighted average method is applied.
The weighted average method formula:
Employee X earns $10.00 an hour as a front desk clerk for ABC Company. ABC Company also payers her $15.00 an hour to handle their bookkeeping needs. During the first week of July, Employee X works a total of 50 work hours. She worked six hours a day at the front desk for a total of 30 hours, then four hours a day in the office doing bookkeeping, for a total of 20 hours, Monday through Friday.
Under the weighted average method, Employee X reaches the 40 hour mark after completing her bookkeeping duties on Thursday. Hence, all the hours Employee X works on Friday are payable at an overtime pay rate. Employee X’s weighted overtime pay rate is calculated as follows:
Straight Time (Front Desk Clerk): 30 hrs x $12.00 = $360.00
Straight Time (Bookkeeper): 20 hrs x $ 15.00 = $ 300.00
Total Straight Time Pay ($660.00) divided by the total hours worked by Employee X (50) then yields a weighted average straight pay rate per hour of $13.20.
Employee X’s pay for the first week of July is thus calculated as follows:
Straight Time (Front Desk Clerk): 24 hrs x $12.00 = $360.00 Straight Time (Bookkeeper): 16 hrs x $ 15.00 = $ 240.00 Overtime Hours (Front Desk Clerk & Bookkeeper): 10 hrs x $13.20 = $132.00
Total Pay Check = $732.00
Under 29 USC § 207(g) (2) an employer/employee can use any alternative method for calculating an overtime pay ray. To use an alternative method:
1. Before the work is performed, the employer and employee agree that overtime hours will be paid at 1.5 times the regular rate;
2. The employee’s hourly pay rate is at least the statutory minimum rate;
3. The employee’s overtime rate is not less than 1.5 times the rate that would be paid if the work is performed during non-overtime hours;
4. Overtime hours equal or exceed the number of hours worked by the employee in excess of the statutory maximum for the workweek; and 5. Any extra overtime compensation is computed and paid on any other form of additional pay required included in calculating the employee’s regular rate of pay (e.g., a production bonus).
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