Apologies if this should be in Workforce Exchange...

I live and work in Massachusetts, US as a full-time, paid hourly, retail worker. I work Wednesday though Sunday. In Massachusetts, I am entitled to time and a half on Sundays. In the US, I am entitled to time and a half per every hour over forty hours during one week.

Here's the rub, I never get overtime because my place of business counts Sunday as overtime. For example, if I work eight hours on Sunday, and then nine hours for each of the next four days, I will have worked forty-four hours. However, because Sunday is considered overtime, I only get eight hours of overtime pay.

I am wondering if I should get twelve hours of overtime, eight for working the Sunday, and then the four for going over forty.

My Massachusetts source has been: mass.gov...

And for the US: dol.gov...

The US wording confuses me:

Unless specifically exempted, employees covered by the Act must receive overtime pay for hours worked in excess of 40 in a workweek at a rate not less than time and one-half their regular rates of pay. There is no limit in the Act on the number of hours employees aged 16 and older may work in any workweek. The Act does not require overtime pay for work on Saturdays, Sundays, holidays, or regular days of rest, as such.

What does that last sentence mean?

Should I be getting paid more than I am?

1 Answer 1

> What does that last sentence mean?

It means that federal law does not provide premium pay on Sundays and Holidays the way MA does.

> Should I be getting paid more than I am?

No. Check out G.L. c. 151, § 1A:

the hours so worked on Sunday or certain holidays shall be excluded from the calculation of overtime pay

In other words, take your eight hours on Sunday and subtract that from the total hours for the week. That number minus 40 is how many OT hours you get.

This calculation is called crediting - basically the employer credits your time-and-a-half Sunday work against your total hours for the week. Crediting is allowed and it is why you do not get the Sunday pay on top of your overtime.

If you want to get in the weeds take a look at Swift v Autozone where the MA Supreme Court describes why crediting is allowed.

Also see 29 U.S.C. 207(h)(2) which tells us that extra compensation is creditable..

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