If you qualify, the state of Texas will pay overtime at a rate of time and a half. Currently, the mandatory minimum wage rate in Texas is $7.25 per hour. This makes the state’s mandatory minimum overtime rate $10.88 per hour. In addition to being regulated by state law, overtime pay is also regulated by federal law under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Who Qualifies for Overtime Pay in Texas?

Under the FLSA, if you work over 40 hours per week you will qualify for overtime pay if you are not exempt. In addition, if you work in the following fields you will be specifically guaranteed overtime protection under federal law:

  • First-responders, including police, paramedics, and firefighters;
  • Practical nurses; and
  • Paralegals.

In addition, the state of Texas has laws that aim to protect employees from being used by their employers without receiving compensation for working extra hours. The Texas overtime laws generally aim to protect blue collar workers.

Most of the time, you are eligible to receive overtime pay if you are paid hourly and make under $455 per week. However, there are exemptions that apply where it is not mandatory to pay employees overtime, such as with the following jobs:

  • Executives;
  • Administrators;
  • Professionals;
  • Outside salespeople;
  • Independent contractors (unless they are legal employees); and
  • In addition, sometimes the following workers are also considered exempt: computer-related workers, transportation workers, agricultural and farm workers, and live-in employees.

Additional labor laws in Texas also set special overtime rules for nurses. Hospitals are not permitted to require a nurse to work mandatory overtime hours, although they can work overtime if they so choose. In addition, under the law a hospital may not suspend, terminate or otherwise discipline or discriminate against a nurse who refuses to work mandatory overtime.

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What if My Employer Fails to Pay me Overtime?

If you are eligible for overtime pay under Texas and federal law, your employer is required to pay you time and a half for all overtime hours. If your employer fails to pay you overtime that you are entitled to, you can file a complaint with the Department of Labor in Texas.

This complaint is known as an FLSA violation claim. Each year several claims are successfully filed to ensure that Texas residents receive FLSA mandated wages for minimum wage and overtime.

When Should I Contact a Lawyer?

If your employer has failed to pay you overtime that you believe you are entitled to, you should contact a Texas employment lawyer to find out your options. A lawyer can further explain the overtime laws that apply to your situation, help you prepare a complaint with the Department of Labor in Texas and help you get any pay you are legally entitled to receive.