Human resources questions: calculating overtime

Jan. 5, 2011
Tim Twigg and Rebecca Crane of Bent Ericksen & Associates explain how to count employee work hours and calculate overtime when necessary.

Q. Our practice is located in Minnesota. My office manager believes that my policy of calculating overtime based on my two-week pay periods is inappropriate. What do you advise?

The state of Minnesota requires overtime to be paid to nonexempt employees for time actually worked over 40 hours in a workweek. By "actually worked," you may exclude time during the workweek where the employee was on vacation, sick leave, or taking a paid holiday. If, for example, the employee took a paid sick day on Monday, worked eight-hour days on Tuesday and Wednesday, and on Thursday and Friday worked 10 hours each day, you would have to pay for 44 hours at the employee’s regular rate; no overtime would be owed. If all of the 44 hours was time actually worked, it would include four hours of overtime at a time-and-one-half rate. Computing overtime on a two-week pay period is note permissible.

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The opinions expressed above are based on the writer’s comprehensive background as a human resources professional and the policies in our Bent Ericksen & Associates products having been reviewed by legal counsel. The writer is not an attorney, and the advice provided in this message should not be construed as a legal opinion. If you have legal questions after considering the advice and reading any materials referenced, it is recommended that you consult with your attorney.

Author bio
Tim Twigg is the president of Bent Ericksen & Associates, and Rebecca Crane is a human resource compliance consultant with Bent Ericksen & Associates. For 30 years, the company has been a leading authority in human resource and personnel issues, helping dentists deal successfully with the ever-changing and complex labor laws. To receive a complimentary copy of the company’s quarterly newsletter or to learn more about its services, call (800) 679-2760 or visit