Q: What Is Double Overtime?

Double overtime is the extra pay that certain employees earn for working specific hours including:

  • Over a national holiday such as Thanksgiving;
  • During a less-desirable shift like overnight or weekends; and
  • Time worked above and beyond within a certain period.

Do I have to pay employees double overtime?

The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and 49 out of 50 states don’t have any requirements on double overtime. However, in California, employers are required to pay double overtime for:

  • Any hours over 12 hours in one workday; and
  • Any hours over 8 hours from the seventh consecutive day in a workweek..

Other than that, double overtime pay is completely optional. That said, offering double overtime as a benefit helps to attract and retain employees as well as fill the shifts that folks don’t want to work.

Who qualifies for double overtime?

This is completely up to an employer as the law, except in California, does not say anything about double overtime. In California, non-exempt employees are qualified to earn double overtime.

Outside of California, an employer can pay double overtime to both exempt and non-exempt employees it it wishes.

However, once a policy is in the employee manual, an employer must fulfill what’s promised as those wages are now part of an “implicit” contract.

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