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State Law Varies on When Clock Tolls for Overtime

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Q. What's the definition of a standard workweek? One of our employees claims that overtime is defined as anything over eight hours per workday. Is he correct? —P.F., Minnesota

A. There's no such thing as a standard workweek. While most states define overtime for nonexempt workers as any hours worked over 40 hours per workweek, Minnesota is one of the few that does not. In Minnesota, payment for overtime is not required until the employee works more than 48 hours in a week.

As for your employee's assertion that overtime is due for any work over eight hours per day under Minnesota law, it appears that he is incorrect. Some states like Colorado, Florida and Montana do define overtime by the hours worked in a day, or a combination of hours worked per day and per week, so it always pays to check your own state's laws. Also, check any applicable collective bargaining agreements.

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