Are managers entitled to overtime pay?

Are managers entitled to overtime pay?

As we’ve explored in a previous post, most workers are entitled overtime pay at time-and-a-half of their regular wage after working 44 hours in a single work week. This applies to both workers who are paid a salary and those who receive an hourly wage.

However, not all employees are entitled to overtime. In fact, for a surprising number of workers overtime pay is not a statutory entitlement.

Lawyers, healthcare and IT professionals, teachers and engineers are, among others, professions that are exempt from employment legislation regarding overtime pay. Furthermore, most managers and supervisors are also not entitled to overtime pay.

We say ‘most’ managers and supervisors are not entitled to overtime pay because not everyone with ‘manager’ or ‘supervisor’ in their job title does work that fits this description.

To qualify as a ‘manager’ or ‘supervisor’ for the purpose of overtime pay, the work they do must be predominantly managerial or supervisory. Non-managerial tasks must only be performed on an irregular basis.

Generally speaking, managers and supervisors are not entitled to overtime pay unless they spend over 50% of their time doing non-managerial work. For example, if you are the bar manager at a restaurant and the majority of your work is bartending, you may be entitled to overtime pay once you have worked more than 44 hours in a week. But, if by contrast, your time working as a bar manager is primarily spent managing the day to day tasks of scheduling workers, ordering supplies, resolving conflicts and organizing operations, you would likely not be entitled to overtime pay for working more than 44 hours. However, if a bar manager who normally spends most of their working hours doing managerial work must suddenly cover a shift for a regular employee in addition to their managerial duties, they be entitled to overtime pay for the extra hours they work doing the non-managerial tasks.

Takeaway for employers

Calling someone a manager or a supervisor does not necessarily make it so. Do not assume that just because your employee is called a manager that they are not ever entitled to overtime pay. Calling someone a manager just to avoid overtime compensation is not acceptable. The nature of their work is what entitles them to overtime, not their official job title.

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