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Regular Rate of Pay Under the Fair Labor Standards Act


The "regular rate" of pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act cannot be left to a declaration by the parties as to what is to be treated as the regular rate for an employee; it must be drawn from what happens.  The Supreme Court has described it as the hourly rate actually paid the employee for the normal, non-overtime workweek for which he is employed; as an "actual fact."

The "regular rate" under the Act is a rate per hour.  The regular hourly rate of pay of an employee is determined by dividing his total remuneration for employment (except statutory exclusions) in any workweek by the total number of hours actually worked by him in that workweek for which such compensation was paid.  At NDSU, in most cases, it is appropriate to use the regular rate and overtime rate contained in an employee's payroll record on the computer.  This will not be accurate if the employee works at two different jobs on campus with two different rates of pay.

The following sections give some examples of the proper method of determining the regular rate of pay in particular instances:

  • Earnings at one rate of pay:  If the employee is employed solely on the basis of a single hourly rate, the hourly rate is his "regular rate."  For his overtime work he must be paid, in addition to his straight time hourly earnings, a sum determined by multiplying one-half the hourly rate by the number of hours worked in excess of 40 in the week.

    For example, a $10 hourly rate will bring, for an employee who works 46 hours, a total weekly wage of $490 (46 hours at $10 + 6  hours at ($10 x 0.5)).
  • Earnings when multiple rates of pay apply: Where an employee in a single workweek performs two or more different types of work for which different non-overtime rates of pay have been established, his regular rate for that week is the weighted average of such rates.  That is, his total earnings (except statutory exclusions) are computed to include his compensation during the workweek from all such rates, and are then divided by the total number of hours worked at all jobs.  For overtime purposes, NDSU is considered one employer, even if the two or more different positions are in two or more departments.

    For example, if an employee works at NDSU for 30 hours in a position that pays a $10 hourly rate, and 16 hours in a position that pays a $15 hourly rate for a total of 46 hours, the employee's "regular rate" of pay on which overtime is computed is $11.74 per hour ((30 hours at $10 + 16 hours at $15)/46 hours).  The weekly wage is $575.22 (30 hours at $10 + 16 hours at $15 + 6 hours at ($11.74 x 0.5)).

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North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-8961 / Fax: (701) 231-9686
Campus address: SGC 102
Physical/delivery address: 1919 University Dr N, Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 3140 / PO Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager: Human Resources/Payroll

Last Updated: Friday, March 15, 2013 9:33:26 AM