The federal overtime provisions are contained in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and it means that unless an employee is exempt from receiving overtime, employees covered by the Act must obtain overtime pay for any hours worked over 40 in a workweek at a rate not less than time and one-half their regular rates of pay. 

When is Overtime Paid?

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, an employer is required to pay an employee 1.5 times their hourly wage for every hour the employee works over 40 hours in one week. An example of this would be if an employee is normally paid $10 an hour, that employee will be paid $10 multiplied by 1.5, or $15 an hour for the hours the employee works over 40 in one week.

Would I Obtain Overtime Pay If I Work From Home?

Whether or not you work from home (or telecommute) has no effect on the overtime requirements of your employer. Under the FLSA, employers must pay employees overtime for any hours worked over 40 in a workweek even if the employee does the work from home. If an employer learns that an employee is working from home on work related activities, the employer must ensure that the employee is getting paid for it. 

How Does My Employer Know I am Working Overtime When I'm at Home?

Overtime compensation and the process you use to report your hours worked should be addressed in the policy statements of your company. Any employer must make sure that all hours worked are well documented, in addition to a telecommuting policy written in the company handbook or your contract. 

Employees working at home generally must apply for permission for overtime work from their superiors before working past their regular hours, but your employer must use the same method for approving overtime that he would use for non-telecommuting employees (i.e. he cannot refuse you overtime simply because you work at home). 

What If I Work From Home, But Have to Occasional Commute to the Office?

Hourly employees who work primarily from the home must be paid for the time it takes them to commute to the company's offices. The time the employee spends commuting to and from work must be considered part of your hours worked and should not be considered as travel expenses 

As a general rule, if an employee works from his home more than 50% of the time, then this rule applies, but the terms of employment listed in the company's telecommuting policies should spell out the exact details.

Do I Need an Employment Lawyer?

An employment lawyer can help you determine whether you are an employee entitled to overtime pay while working at home under the Fair Labor Standards Act. A lawyer can also assist you with a claim if you believe your employer has not paid you the minimum wage, for hours worked above 40 in one week, and for any dispute regarding pay. If you are an employer, a lawyer will make sure you are in compliance with state and federal employment laws.