Computing hours within a Semi-monthly pay system for non-exempt employees

Are we doing this correctly?

Our Corporate Office determines when pay periods begin and end, they also determine the maximum allowable hours each non-exempt employee can work within each pay period before OT is compensated. 

In our system the maximum allowable hours within each pay period varies, one pay period may be 77 hours long, another may be 80 hours, another may be 88 another, or another may be 96. The number of days within each pay period will vary as well, for example, there are 15 work days in the 77 hours period, 14 days in the 80 period, 15 days in the 88 hour period and 16 days in the 96 hour period.

Employees are usually scheduled to work less than the maximum allowable hours, however it seems odd that in one 16 day period an employee can work up to 96 before being paid OT and yet in 15 day period they can only work up to 77 hours before OT is paid.











How do I calculate OT for hourly employees who scheduled work hours vary within a semi-monthly pay system that variable hours with in a pay period. 


  • 2 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • We must pay non-exempt employees overtime anytime they work more than 40 hours in a "workweek." There's no getting around that fact.  A workweek is 7 consecutive 24-hour days. Using that workweek you must calculate overtime on a weekly basis (so no averaging of hours over two workweeks). Whatever our pay period, we must make sure we pay OT for all hours over 40 in a workweek and that we pay it the next regular paycheck covering the period the overtime was earned in. That's under federal law.  State laws differ. In California we have the additional requirement of having to pay overtime for more than 8 hours of work in a day.
  • The only thing I would add to SFBay's response is that the DOL, and the language of the FLSA, are both sensitive to to employer games with minimum wage and overtime compensation.  Whatever week you have defined should not be played around with.  If your work week is Su-Sa, you don't get to make it Tu-M one week to avoid overtime payments because of how your days lined up in the week.
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