Most hourly and salaried employees must be paid one and one-half times their regular hourly rate for all hours worked in excess of 40 in one week. For example, if a pay period is bi-weekly and a non-exempt employee works 60 hours during the first week and 20 during the second, the employee must be paid time and one-half for the 20 overtime hours worked during the first week.

Professional, executive and administrative employees are exempt from overtime, as are approximately 20 other classifications of workers. The exemptions can be found in M.G.L. c. 151, s. 1A. If you have questions about whether overtime applies to a specific job, and have reviewed these exemptions, please contact the Regional Office nearest you.  The exemptions under federal law are different.  Please contact the U.S. Department of Labor with questions about federal law.

Note: Upcoming changes to federal overtime requirements will affect Massachusetts employers and employees.  Effective December 1, 2016, an employee must earn a salary of at least $913 per week in order to be exempt from overtime as an Executive, Administrative, or Professional (EAP) worker under federal law.   In addition, the total annual compensation required to be exempt as a Highly Compensated Employee will increase to $134,004.  Because the Massachusetts overtime regulation incorporates the federal salary tests by reference, these higher salary levels will apply to the EAP and Highly Compensated Employee exemptions under Massachusetts overtime law. 

The new rules do not make any changes to the “duties tests .”  For workers with salaries above the updated salary level, employers must still continue to use the same duties tests to determine whether or not the worker is entitled to overtime pay.

To learn more about these changes to overtime rules, visit the U.S. Department of Labor website or watch USDOL’s Overtime: It’s about time .