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Table of Contents: Article IndexPrintable Version

Applies to versions: 1.5, 1.6, 1.8, 1.9, 1.10, 1.11, 2.0, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4

Understanding Workweeks, Workweek Groups, FLSA Base Rate for Overtime

What is a workweek?

In most situations, a workweek is a 168 hour period consisting of seven 24-hour days. These days and the entire week are important because they are used for the calculation of overtime, based on the Overtime Policy in place for the workweek.

Are workweeks the same as calendar weeks?

Most businesses and organizations will have workweeks and workdays aligned with calendar days, but this is not required. When employees follow workweeks that start in the middle of the calendar day, most reports and exports will follow the workweeks and workdays, rather than calendar days.

What is the workweek duration? Isn't a workweek always a week long?

In some situations, special kinds of workers, and in some countries outside the USA, employees may have workweeks that are 14, 21 or 28 days long. If you're not sure, always choose one calendar week as your workweek duration.

What is a Workweek Group?

Workweek Groups provide a way for a group of employees to follow specific dates and rules for workweeks and overtime calculations. Specifically:

  • The starting date and time of the workweek for employees
  • The initial Overtime Policy for employees
  • The workweek duration (normally 1 week)
  • The workweek time zone
  • Subsequent changes to any of the above, if needed

Can workweeks and workweek groups be changed at any time?

While it is technically possible to change workweeks (and/or workweek groups) it should normally be done as infrequently as possible. The reason is that the labor law treatment for employers who change workweeks is complex and always favors the employee.

For example, an employee with a workweek that is changed will always have "overlapping" workweeks. This means that TimeIPS must consider both the old workweek, and the new one when figuring overtime. By labor law, time worked in the overlapping days must be calculated as if it belonged in each of the two weeks, then allocated into the week that would result in the maximum amount of overtime for the employee. This can result in unexpected overtime and can make reports difficult to read on the overlapping days.

Please carefully review US Federal Labor Law, 29 CFR Subpart B 778, as well as any state-specific rules that may cover your business/organization and employees. For any questions, please seek advice from an attorney specializing in labor law in your state and industry.

What is a workweek's "FLSA Regular Rate," how is it figured and how is it used for overtime?

Each workweek has an an hourly equivalent "FLSA Regular Rate" figured for each employee, as required by Federal Labor Law (Title 29 Part 778.200, etc.).  Overtime adds 1/2 of this Regular Rate to each hour worked during overtime.  To  figure the regular rate, the total pay the employee receives for all work done is divided by the total hours of work. i.e.:

Regular Rate = Total Pay For Hours Worked / Total Hours Worked

  • The "Total Pay For Hours Worked" includes hourly pay (including any pay differentials), non-elective bonus pay, piecework/commission pay and salary pay.  Pay for benefits such as PTO/sick/vacation/holiday is NOT included.
  • The "Total Hours Worked" includes all time the employee is clocked in.  Time for benefits such as PTO/sick/vacation/holiday is NOT included.

All hours considered "Overtime" then have 1/2 the "Regular Rate" added.


See Also:
Add/Edit Workweek Groups (1.11, 2.0, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4)
Overtime Policies (2.4, 2.5)

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