How to Properly Calculate Time and a Half

Managing payroll properly is crucial to the success of any company, and doing so requires complete fluency in the language of payroll. For this reason, it's important to be able to answer the question, "What is time and a half?" should be prioritized  


The term "time and a half" is commonly associated with overtime pay. It's the money you owe your workers if they put in more than 40 hours of work in a week. Regular overtime is compensated at 1.5 times the hourly rate.  

What is time and a half, who is entitled to it, and how is it determined are discussed in greater detail below.  

Explain Time and a Half to Me

What we call "time and a half" is the premium that employers must pay their staff for working over their normal shift schedules. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) specifies the requirements and conditions for overtime pay.   

Overtime pay is $1 per hour. Five times the hourly wage That is, the standard pay scale plus fifty percent  

If Sandy is an hourly worker and earns $14 per hour, she is considered a nonexempt employee and is entitled to overtime pay. There will be a premium of $5 plus $14 per overtime hour, totaling $21.   

For those who are entitled to overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act, time and a half is due for any hours worked in excess of a 40-hour workweek.  

How and when do you have to pay it?

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), you must pay your hourly and nonexempt workers time and a half for all overtime worked. Fail to do so, and you may be subject to legal action and a hefty bill. It's possible that you'll have to pay damages, compensatory wages, and legal fees to your employees.  

Finding out who is eligible for overtime requires knowing who is considered an "exempt" employee.  

The Fair Labor Standards Act does not apply to exempt employees, so they are not eligible for overtime pay.  

  • Rather than working for an employer on an hourly basis, they receive a salary.  
  • They hold jobs that are exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act. Administrative, executive, information technology, etc. roles are all examples of those associated with the upper echelons of business management.  
  • Their yearly salary exceeds the federal poverty level of $35,568 (in 2020 dollars).
  • Outside sales staff who represent your company while not at their designated office location are typically exempt from minimum wage laws as well.  
  • The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) may not apply to some types of hourly workers. This includes jobs in the film industry, agriculture, and the theater.  

However, the Fair Labor Standards Act applies to non-exempt employees. If they worked overtime, you should pay them double time.

  • They typically work on an hourly basis. However, in some cases, they may be paid an annual salary.  
  • Their yearly salary is less than $35,568 (in 2020 dollars).
  • Their jobs do not qualify as exempt because they do not involve the same level of responsibility as those of an executive, administrator, computer professional, etc.  

Keep in mind that the US Department of Labor uses the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as the legal framework for enforcing federal minimum wage and overtime requirements. But some states have overtime laws that are even more stringent than federal ones.  

Some states, for instance, may mandate daily rather than weekly overtime payment. To put it another way, if an employee works more than 8 hours in a day, you must pay them double their regular rate. States like California, Alaska, and Nevada fall into this category.  

Even if you believe you have complied with the FLSA rules, you should verify that you meet your state's requirements on time and a half pay.   

Instructions for Determining the Appropriate Amount of Time and a Half Pay Under the Fair Labor Standards Act

If a non-exempt worker in your company puts in more than 40 hours in a week, you must pay them overtime. Paying at least 1.5 times their regular hourly rate is required by the Fair Labor Standards Act.  

However, overtime pay is calculated differently for hourly and salaried employees.  

In that case, how much do different categories of workers have to make to qualify for time and a half?

Compensation for Overtime Work

Hourly workers have the simplest time-and-a-half calculation.  

Here are the measures you need to take:

  • Multiply your hourly rate by.1 to get your overtime rate. 5
  • Overtime pay for a given week is determined by multiplying the overtime rate by the total number of overtime hours worked in that week.
  • Adding an employee's regular weekly pay to their overtime pay yields their total pay for the week.

Here, we'll look at Robert's situation. Your California company of more than 26 employees includes him in its payroll as a non-exempt hourly worker. You're giving him California's minimum wage ($13 per hour)   

Robert worked 46 hours last week. All week long, he put in an extra hour, and on Friday, he put in two. That's six hours more than the standard 40-hour workweek for him.  

The rate at which he is paid for overtime is:

$13 x 1 5 = $19 5

The weekly overtime rate is:

Six hours at $19 an hour 5 = $117

Robert usually gets paid this much every week:

Time worked x wage rate = $520 (40 hours x $13)

We can calculate his gross pay for a 46-hour workweek by adding his regular weekly wage to his overtime wage.

$520 $117 = 7 

Regular Employees Are Entitled To Overtime Pay

Time and a half pay is determined in accordance with the employee's salary structure.  

Workers who receive a set salary regardless of how many hours they put in

Salary employees who work a set number of hours per week can have their total compensation determined by applying the following formula:

  • Divide the weekly salary by the predetermined number of hours to get the regular hourly rate.
  • Determine the wage for a standard workweek of 40 hours.
  • To calculate overtime pay, simply increase the hourly rate by 1.5 times the base rate.
  • Overtime pay is determined by taking the overtime rate and multiplying it by the total number of overtime hours worked in a given workweek.
  • Incorporate overtime compensation into your regular 40-hour-a-week salary.

To illustrate, let's use Martha. After putting in 36 hours a week, she earns $540. Last week, however, she put in a full 42. This is two hours over her standard 40-hour workweek, which she has already worked.   

The standard rate of her hourly pay is:

$540 divided by 36 hours = $15 an hour.

As a result, if she works a standard week of 40 hours, her salary will be:

The sum of 0 is the result of 40 hours of work at $15 per hour.

The rate at which she is paid for overtime work is:

$15 x 1 5 = $22 5 

Therefore, her weekly overtime pay should consist of:

Multiplying $22 by 2 hours 5 = $45 

Martha's weekly gross pay consists of her base pay for a 40-hour work week plus her overtime pay, if any.

0 $45 = 5 

Employees on a Salary Whose Work Schedules Vary

When a salaried worker's weekly hours vary, the gross pay must be calculated in a unique way. Based on the number of hours they have worked that week, their base hourly wage will change.  

Let's pretend Melinda gets paid 0 every week. This week she worked 45 hours, so she is entitled to 5 hours of overtime pay.  

Figure out her weekly hourly rate first:

Spending 0 over 45 hours will cost you $20 an hour.

Melinda's case illustrates how overtime is calculated and paid; in this case, the extra five hours were included in her regular weekly salary.  

Multiplying the hourly rate by thus yields the overtime pay rate. as opposed to 1's 5, 5:

Five times twenty dollars an hour is ten dollars an hour.

So, her weekly overtime pay is:

$50 (5 hours x $10/hour)

Melinda's total gross pay is calculated by adding her weekly salary and overtime pay:

0 $50 = 0

Maintain an Effective Handle on Payroll

Overtime pay is a crucial aspect of payroll, and managers must be aware of the rules governing its payment. It helps keep you in compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and ensures that your employees are paid fairly.  

Business owners may struggle with how and when to pay time and a half to their employees. You can rely on Hourly to help you keep accurate payroll records, manage workers' compensation claims, and monitor employee attendance.


Intent on giving it a shot Launch the Hourly app now to get started.

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