Determining Overtime Pay for a 2-week Pay Period

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Determine the Beginning and Ending Day of Your Work Week

Overtime pay is owed for every hour, or portion of the hour, that you work in excess of 40 hours in a work week. So you need to determine when your work week begins and ends. In a 2-week pay period, the first day of the pay period will likely be the first day of the work week. Seven days later will be the last day of the work week.


Calculate the Number of Hours in Each Work Week

Look at your time sheets for each of the work weeks in the pay period. Calculate the total number of hours for each work week.


Determine the Number of Overtime Hours in Week 1

If you worked more than 40 hours in the 1st work week, take the total number of hours for week 1 and subtract 40. That gives you the number of overtime hours for week 1.


Calculate Overtime Pay for Week 1

Multiply your your regular hourly rate (rate for non-overtime hours) times 1.5. The result is your overtime wage. Take your overtime wage and multiply that by the number of overtime hours you calculated for week 1.


Calculate Overtime Pay for 2nd Work Week

Do the same calculation in Steps 3 and 4 above, but using the figures from the 2nd work week in the pay period.


Calculate the Total Overtime Due for the Pay Period

Take the amount of overtime pay for week 1 that you calculated in Step 4 above and add the amount of overtime pay for week 2 that you calculated in Step 5 above. This sum will give you the total amount of pay that is due for just the overtime hours in the pay period.



The Federal law requiring overtime pay applies to most employers, but there are exceptions for some employers and some employees. Also, there are certain agreements that an employer and employee can enter in certain, very narrow circumstances that can affect the analysis. If you believe you may be denied overtime pay, it is best to have the situation reviewed with your employer, the Department of Labor, an attorney experienced in overtime pay issues or all of the above.

Additional Resources

Job Matters Blog

U.S. Department of Labor

Attorney Gordon Leech

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