Last Update:

July 18, 2023

**Understanding Overtime Pay Calculations for Restaurant Hourly Employees**

Navigating overtime pay calculations for hourly employees in the restaurant industry can be complex, but understanding the process is crucial for both employers and employees. In this article, we will break down how to calculate overtime pay according to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and discuss relevant state-specific requirements to ensure compliance and fair compensation.

- Calculating Overtime Pay for Hourly Employees with a Single Rate of Pay: For nonexempt hourly employees with a single rate of pay and no additional compensation, calculating overtime pay is straightforward. As per FLSA guidelines, simply multiply the regular rate of pay by 1.5, and then multiply the result by the total number of overtime hours worked.

Example: An hourly employee earns $10 per hour and works 46 hours in a workweek without any additional compensation. In this case, the employee's total pay, including the overtime premium, can be calculated as follows:

- $10 x 40 hours = $400 base pay
- $10 x 1.5 = $15 overtime rate of pay
- $15 x 6 overtime hours = $90 overtime pay
- $400 + $90 = $490 total pay

- Calculating Overtime for Multiple Pay Rates: Occasionally, nonexempt employees with a fixed hourly rate may work specific hours at different times, like overnight shifts, which grant them additional hourly pay, known as a shift differential. In such instances, employers must use the blended rate or weighted average of all rates paid to calculate the overtime premium due for hours worked over 40 in the workweek. Note that FLSA has an exception to this rule, allowing employers to pay overtime via the "rate in effect." However, most states do not permit this method, and it is not recommended.

Example: A nonexempt employee works 35 hours on the day shift at $12 per hour and another 10 hours on the overnight shift at $15 per hour in a state following the FLSA overtime rules. The employee's total pay due, including the overtime premium, for the workweek can be calculated as follows:

- (35 hours x $12) + (10 hours x $15) = $570 base pay
- $570 / 45 total hours = $12.67 regular rate of pay
- $12.67 x 0.5 = $6.34 overtime premium rate
- $6.34 x 5 overtime hours = $31.70 total overtime premium pay
- $570 + $31.70 = $601.70 total pay due

- Overtime Calculation Methods by State:While federal overtime laws are based on a 40-hour workweek, some states calculate overtime by the workday, typically beyond eight hours. Employers must adhere to their respective state-specific requirements when calculating overtime pay.
- Overtime Pay Formula: The FLSA prescribes a formula for calculating overtime pay, which is the nonexempt employee's regular rate of pay x 1.5 x overtime hours worked. However, this calculation may vary in states with more favorable employee requirements, such as double time.

If an employee works at different pay rates within the same workday, and you need to calculate overtime, a "blended" or "weighted average" overtime rate is often used.

Here's a step-by-step process for calculating daily overtime with blended rates:

**Calculate the total regular earnings for the day**. Multiply the hours worked in each role by the respective hourly rate, then add these amounts together.**Calculate the total hours worked for the day**. Add together the hours worked in each role.**Calculate the blended (weighted average) rate**. Divide the total regular earnings by the total hours worked. This gives you the average hourly rate for the day.**Calculate the overtime rate**. Multiply the blended rate by 1.5. This is the rate you'll use to pay for overtime hours.**Calculate the regular pay**. Multiply the blended rate by the number of standard hours (typically 8).**Calculate the overtime pay**. Multiply the overtime rate by the number of overtime hours.**Calculate the total pay**. Add the regular pay and the overtime pay together.

For example, let's assume the employee worked 9 hours as a cook at $15 per hour, and then worked 2 hours as a dishwasher at $14 per hour. Following the correct method, here's the calculation:

**Calculate the total earnings for all hours**: (9 hours as a cook * $15/hour) + (2 hours as a dishwasher * $14/hour) = $135 + $28 = $163**Calculate the total hours worked for the day**: 9 hours + 2 hours = 11 hours**Calculate the blended (weighted average) rate**: $163 / 11 hours = $14.82 (rounded to the nearest cent)**Calculate the overtime rate**: $14.82/hour * 1.5 = $22.23/hour (rounded to the nearest cent)**Calculate the regular pay**: $14.82/hour * 8 hours = $118.56 (rounded to the nearest cent)******Calculate the overtime pay**: $22.23/hour * 3 hours = $66.69 (rounded to the nearest cent)**Calculate the total pay**: $118.56 (regular pay) + $66.69 (overtime pay) = $185.25 (rounded to the nearest cent, $185.23 would be the result without rounding, rounding has been used for easier understanding)

Conclusion: Understanding how to calculate overtime pay for hourly employees in the restaurant industry is essential for both employers and employees. By following FLSA guidelines and adhering to state-specific requirements, you can ensure compliance and fair compensation for all parties involved.