Q. We are a small employer and only have operations in Minnesota. I recently learned that Minnesota does not require overtime pay until after an employee has worked 48 hours in a workweek. Do we have to pay overtime after 40 hours or can we have employees work an extra eight hours before they are entitled to overtime?
A. While it is the case that Minnesota’sonly requires time and one half after a 48-hour workweek, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act ( ) requires overtime after 40 hours.
Where state and federal laws differ, employers are obligated to provide their employees with the greatest benefit provided under either law. Therefore, if your business is subject to the FLSA, you will need to pay overtime after 40 hours.
Depending upon the size and type of business you operate, it is possible that the federal law doesn’t apply to you. The FLSA covers employees and enterprises engaged in “interstate commerce.” That concept has been interpreted so broadly that it is likely that your business involves interstate commerce. For example, if your employees engage in authorizing credit card purchases, or utilize goods that were delivered from an out-of-state supplier, these activities alone can qualify them as engaging in interstate commerce.
Before deciding that your business is not subject to the FLSA, you should carefully review all the facts with your attorney.