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November 4, 2008    DOL Home > Compliance Assistance > News Room > Drop-In Articles   

Compliance Assistance - Drop-In Article

Department of Labor Drop-in Article Policy:

We encourage you to publish the following article in your own publication.
To do so, please e-mail our media relations team at Let us know:

1. Where and when it will be published; and
2. How often the piece will reappear.

New Tool for Calculating Overtime Pay

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has released its latest elaws Advisorthe FLSA Overtime Calculator — to help employers and workers understand and calculate overtime pay.

Employers and employees can be overwhelmed by the challenge of understanding the many employment laws and regulations that apply to a given employment situation.  DOL’s elaws (Employment Laws Assistance for Workers and Small Businesses) Advisors are designed to help ease and improve compliance with federal employment laws by explaining the requirements clearly and in plain English.  The Advisors help employees and employers understand their rights and responsibilities using a question-and-answer process that simulates a conversation with a DOL employment law expert.  The Advisors are easy to use, always accessible and free.

One of Department’s most asked about employment laws is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA Suite of elaws Advisors help users understand the minimum wage, overtime, and child labor provisions of the Act.  The Overtime Calculator Advisor is the latest addition to the FLSA Suite.  This new Advisor computes the amount of overtime pay due in a sample pay period based on information from the user.  The Overtime Calculator gathers input from users about certain factors used in determining overtime, including the primary method of paying workers, any additional compensation such as bonuses, commissions, and shift differentials, and information pertaining to hours worked.  The Calculator then totals up straight-time and overtime hours worked during a sample pay period and – based on the user’s inputs – calculates the overtime pay required.  A key feature demonstrates how the calculations were made.  (The Calculator does not attempt to calculate overtime in all situations and actual pay period earnings may differ from the results provided by the Overtime Calculator.)

In addition to the Overtime Calculator, the FLSA Suite of Advisors includes:

  • The Coverage and Employment Status Advisor helps identify which workers are employees covered by the FLSA;
  • The Hours Worked Advisor provides information to determine which hours spent in work-related activities are considered FLSA “hours worked,” and therefore, must be paid;
  • The Overtime Security Advisor helps determine which employees are exempt from the FLSA minimum wage and overtime pay requirements under the Part 541 overtime regulations;
  • The Child Labor Rules Advisor answers questions about the FLSA’s youth employment provisions, including at what age young people can work and the jobs they can perform; and
  • The Section 14(c) Advisor helps users understand the special minimum wage requirements for workers with disabilities.

The Department offers many other elaws Advisors covering a wide range of federal employment laws such as the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act. To view the Advisors, visit

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