How To Calculate Time And A Half Pay (Examples Included)

In this guide we cover how to time and a half works and how to calculate time and half pay including examples and tools you can use to save time and money.
Time and a half pay
Time Tracking Fundamentals
Understanding Labor Laws
GPS Tracking
Tracking More Than Time
Time Tracking Benefits
Choosing A System
Implementing A System
Time Tracking Fundamentals
Understanding Labor Laws
GPS Tracking
Tracking More Than Time
Time Tracking Benefits
Choosing A System
Implementing A System

Accurate Time Tracking Is So Much Easier With Workyard

Time and a half is compensation for the workers that have over the standard 40-hour week, but there are a lot of factors that influence the final salary.

What Is Time and a Half?

Time and a half is the amount you owe to workers working overtime.

Employees that are under the Fair Labor Standards Act or FLSA are entitled to extra payment for their extra hours. Considering each working week should be limited to 40 hours, everything above that is noted as overtime.

Time and a half refers to your need to pay the existing hourly wage plus 50% more for every hour your employee works overtime on top of the employee’s standard hourly rate. Keep in mind that your payment method and timesheet are not relevant, and the overtime pay is always calculated on a weekly basis even if you pay your workers bi-weekly.

In addition, some states have even more strict rules and demand time and a half calculations on a daily basis. But, considering there are situations where employees do cheat on time entries and time is notoriously difficult to collect accurately for hourly workers, you need to be familiar with the topic more and fully comprehend the calculation.

Who Qualifies for Time and a Half?

As mentioned before the only workers entitled to time and a half are the ones under the FLSA, but what does that mean? The workers who are under the protection of FLSA are hourly and non-exempt employees. 

Here is how to make a difference between your exempt and non-exempt workers:

Exempt Workers

  • The employee force is usually salaried instead of hourly wage
  • The annual salary for exempt workers should be $62,400 (ex. California, 2022)
  • The exempt workers are employed in certain positions such as high-level management, executive, IT, or administrative
  • In some cases, the sales employees that are not working in the same business location are considered exempt workers
  • Even certain hourly workers are exempt from the FLSA, including truck drivers, farm laborers, and theater staff.

Non-exempt Workers

  • Non-exempt workers are, in general, hourly employees (or earn less than $684 per week if they are salaried employees)
  • The non-exempt workers are under supervision and management and don’t make any management decisions
  • Most of the time non exempt employee is employed in construction, maintenance, warehouse, and production industries

The US Department of Labor enforces FLSA requirements on a federal level. This means that states have the opportunity and the right to make the laws even more strict and enforce additional rules and regulations for overtime wages.

Some states such as California, Nevada, or Alaska insist on overtime pay for every day when the employee works over 8 hours, and every overtime hour is calculated daily. So, if you are not sure about your state’s laws it’s a good idea to contact a payroll specialist or rely on a Time Tracking App that has all the regulations built into the software.

How to Calculate Time and a Half?

Now that you are familiar with the terminology and know what is time and a half pay, you might be wondering how to make the exact calculations for hourly and salaried employees and avoid potential problems and fines in the future. 

Before we discuss the calculation process with examples let’s focus on the most important factor that can influence the final results – FLSA rules and state rules

Depending on your state of residence the rules and regulations concerning overtime pay can be different, so you need to be familiar with FLSA rules and state-by-state rules.


The general FLSA guidelines followed by many states say – Overtime is owed to all non-exempt employees in your organization who work more than 40 hours in any given workweek. 

The FLSA requires that it be at least one and a half times the employee’s regular rate.

State By State Rules

In some cases, the state law is adjusted and you need to consider additional rules for the calculation of the overtime pay. 

Here are a few examples:

Overtime Rules and Regulations
Overtime in Alaska is defined as working more than 40 hours per week or more than eight hours per day.
Overtime in California is defined as working more than 40 hours per week, or more than eight hours per day, or working more than six days per week.
Employees in California are also entitled to double pay if they work more than 12 hours in a single day or eight hours on the seventh consecutive day of a work week.
Overtime in Colorado is defined as working more than 40 hours per week, 12 hours each work day, or more than 12 consecutive hours.
Overtime in Kansas is paid when an employee works more than 46 hours in a week unless the employee is protected by the FLSA.
Employers are required by Maryland labor regulations to pay employees overtime wages at one and a half times their usual wage when they work 40 hours or more in a workweek unless otherwise exempt or other requirements apply.
All nonexempt employees in Michigan are required by law to be paid 1.5 times their usual rate of pay for all hours worked after the first 40 in a week. 

The employer has to have two or more employees.
Employers are required by the Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act to pay overtime for any hours worked in excess of 48 every workweek, unless the employee is explicitly excluded under Minnesota Statutes 177.23, subdivision 7.
Under Nevada overtime legislation, all workers who work more than 40 hours per week or 8 hours per day must be paid time and a half for any additional hours worked if their hourly rate is less than 1.5 times the minimum wage.
New York
Regardless of their usual rate of pay, New York State Labor Law requires an overtime rate of one and a half times the state minimum wage for their overtime hours.
In many aspects, Pennsylvania’s overtime law is similar to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The Pennsylvania overtime law, like the FLSA, requires non-exempt employees to earn overtime compensation equivalent to 1.5 times their regular hourly wage for any hours worked in excess of 40 in a week (overtime).
When covered workers work more than 40 hours in a workweek, an employer must pay them at least one and one-half times their usual wage rate. Even though an employee is exempt from overtime under state law, an employee covered by the FLSA may be entitled to it.
The employer has to have two or more employees.
Any time spent in excess of 40 hours in a workweek must be compensated at one and one-half times the employee’s usual rate.
Penalties in Virginia are very harsh for employers who don’t pay the one and a half rate.
Overtime pay is required for most employees who work more than 40 hours in a seven-day workweek. 

Overtime compensation must be at least 1.5 times the usual hourly rate of the employee. 

Other overtime rates, such as double-time compensation, are not mandated by state law in Washington, with the exception of specific public works projects.
West Virginia
Employers with six or more employees must pay each employee overtime in the amount of one and a half times the employee’s usual pay rate for every extra hour in excess of 40 in a workweek under West Virginia’s overtime statute.

Time and a Half Pay For Hourly Workers

Calculating the time and a half pay for hourly employees is the easiest process considering you just need to add the hours. 

To calculate the overtime pay rate for an hourly employee, follow these steps:

1. Time and a half rate

  • Determine the amount of the time and a half rate by multiplying the regular hourly pay rate by 1.5. 
  • Example: A worker in California has an hourly wage of $15. The time and a half rate is:
  • $15 x 1.5 = $22.5

2. Overtime Compensation

  • Total overtime compensation is calculated by multiplying the overtime pay rate by the number of hours worked overtime in a given week.
  • Example: A worker had 7 hours of overtime and the time and a half payment for that week is:
  • 7 x $22.5 = $157.5

3. Gross pay

  • Find the full week’s pay for the said employee by adding the regular weekly payment to the one and a half payment.
  • Example: The standard hourly pay rate is $15 per hour, and the regular week is 40 hours. This leaves us with:
  • 40 x $15 = $600
  • Gross pay:
  • $600 + $157.5 = $757.5

Time and a Half Pay For Salaried Employee (Fixed Work Hours)

Workers with fixed salaries per week can sometimes be under the FLSA, so consider the following calculation.

1. Determine the hourly pay rate

  • To determine the hourly pay rate for workers with fixed hours you can simply divide the weekly salary by the fixed number of hours.
  • Example: The worker earns $576 for 36 hours in a week. You can calculate the hourly pay rate:
  • $576/36 = $16 per hour

2. Calculate the payment for a 40-hour week

  • Multiply the hourly pay rate by 40
  • Example:
  • 40 x $16 = $640

3. Find the time and a half pay rate

  • Determine the time and a half pay rate by multiplying the hourly wage you calculated by 1.5
  • Example:
  • $16 x 1.5 = $24

4. Calculate overtime pay

  • Consider the number of hours worked over time and calculate the time and a half pay.
  • Example:
  • 2 hours x $24 = $48 

5. Calculate gross pay

  • Add the time and a half pay to the regular weekly payment and you will have the gross pay your worker needs to receive.
  • Example:
  • $640 + $48 = $688

Time and a Half Pay For Salaried Workers (Fluctuating Workweek)

Calculating gross compensation for a nonexempt hourly employee who works a variable amount of hours depending on the week at hand necessitates a unique technique.

Their regular hourly wage will vary based on the number of hours they worked that week.

1. Calculate the hourly rate for the particular week

  • Depending on the week at hand you need to divide the weekly payment by the hours worked that week. 
  • Example:
  • $990/45 hours = $22 per hour

2. Calculate overtime hours and a half pay rate

  • If the regular hour is $22 then simply multiply this number by 0.5 and you will get the time and a half pay rate. This is due to the fact that the 5 extra hours were paid at the regular rate, therefore you just need to add 0.5 instead of 1.5.
  • Example:
  • 0.5 x $22 = $11 per hour

3. Calculate time and a half payment

  • To get to the time and a half payment you need to multiply the hours worked overtime by the time and a half pay rate.
  • Example:
  • 5 x $11 = $55

4. Gross payment

  • The employee’s total wages for this worker and this particular week is then simply calculated when you add the time and a half payment to the regular weekly payment.
  • Example:
  • $990+$55 = $1.045


What Holidays Do You Get Paid Time and a Half?

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) mandates employers to pay their employees solely for the time spent on the job. So, whether the employee works on holidays or not, if it is not overtime, the company is not required to pay time and a half. 

In practice, however, most private-sector firms in the United States either give their employees the day off or pay them holiday pay which is higher for working on the holiday.

The holidays include:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Victory Day
  • Labor Day
  • Columbus Day
  • Veterans’ Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day

Does the employer have penalties for not paying overtime?

Yes, overtime payment is mandatory and employers can face detrimental and expensive wage and hour lawsuits.

Even if the overtime is not authorized it’s illegal to miss the overtime pay. However, it is not unlawful to implement overtime policies that ban unauthorized overtime at your workplace. Furthermore, it is not illegal to penalize or remove individuals who frequently violate corporate policies.

Employers who fail to pay employees for overtime worked may be liable for back hourly wages, liquidated damages, and possibly legal expenses. Furthermore, the Department of Labor (DOL) has the authority to levy fines for repeated or willful infractions.

Is overtime time and a half? 

Overtime and time and a half are almost the same and many people confuse the two terms, however, time and a half is only one component to calculate overtime

In some circumstances, such as California’s working laws, workers are entitled to double time if they work more than 12 hours in a single day or eight hours on the seventh consecutive day of a single work week.

So, overtime is the main term to learn and use, while time and a half or double time are just the components used in calculation depending on the state and laws.

Automating Your Time and Half Calculations With a Time Tracking App

Managing the payroll, weekly pay, and doing all the calculations is challenging, and if we add the various working weeks, hours, and overtime the tracking and payment will cost a lot of money and time. If you are relying on older methods such as paper trails, spreadsheets, or manual input of working hours you can face a lot of difficulties.

This is why one of the best investment decisions for your company is a reliable time tracking app.

Here are a few reasons why you will benefit from the time tracking app:

  • It’s more accurate and reliable than manual tracking
  • The calculations for weekly salary and overtime rate are done automatically and always based on local laws
  • Employers and employees have access to real-time working week hours, overtime hours, and employee’s pay
  • Time management and payrolls are more efficient saving your money and time

Sign up for a free trial of Workyard’s time tracking app today!

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