Can My Employers Make me Work Overtime with No Pay?

Oftentimes, the corporate world can seem pretty brutal. If you’re working 40 hours a week and your boss doesn’t think it’s enough, it may seem even more taxing. We’re here to clue you in on the good news in this situation: your boss is required to pay you for every hour you work beyond 40 hours a week!

FSLA Over-Time Work Ruling

office that has overtime work
Photo by Brandon Bourdages.

FSLA (Fair Standards Labor Act) pertains to employers who make $500,000 or more in sales annually, or participate in interstate sales. The FSLA says employees are to be paid time-and-a-half for any time they work beyond 40 hours a week. There is no limit on how many hours your boss can ask you to work (50, 80, 100) in one week, but there are laws that regulate the pay. No employer (included under the FSLA’s reach) can ask an employee to work for free or regular pay beyond their 40 hour work week. As with all laws, there are some exceptions. For example, there are some professions that the FSLA doesn’t take into account: movie theater workers, railroad workers, farm workers, commissioned sales, and taxi drivers.

In addition to employers being able to ask employees to work unlimited hours in a week, there is also no limit on how many hours in a day an employee can be asked to work. Your employer doesn’t have to pay time-and-a-half for more than 8 hours of your time a day unless the 9th hour also happens to be the 41st hour of the week. In other words, you can work 16 hours in one day without being paid time-and-a-half. FSLA only rules employers pay that once you’ve hit beyond 40 hours in a work week.

As usual, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to the law. There are always loopholes and exceptions. If you have legal questions on your employment or think your employer might be violating employment laws, contact our office today.


Legal issues can be very timely matters that require immediate attention – the faster you begin pursuing resolutions, the better your chances of obtaining them. Contact us for further information.

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