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Photo of Michelle Cohen Levy

Is there a probationary period before you deserve overtime pay?

On Behalf of | Jul 10, 2024 | Wage & Hour Laws |

You get a new job and they tell you that you may need to work overtime hours. However, there’s a probationary period. Your boss says that you can’t actually get paid overtime until you’ve been with the company for 90 days. 

Your boss tells you this in a matter-of-fact way, perhaps because that is the company policy. But is it actually legal? Is there a probationary period for overtime pay?

All workers deserve overtime

No, there is not a probationary period. If you work overtime hours, you deserve to be paid time-and-a-half. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been working at the company for a week, a year or 10 years. All non-exempt employees have a right to overtime pay under state laws.

What your employer may do is create a probationary period where you are not eligible to pick up those overtime hours. Instead, more established employees are given the first choice. If your boss needs to keep two people late one night, you may not even be asked if you want those extra hours for a higher pay rate. They will go to someone with more seniority, and they won’t be an option for you for 90 days. 

But if you do end up having to work overtime hours, the “probationary period” cannot be used as an excuse to deny you the correct pay. You still deserve time-and-a-half for all of the extra hours you put in, regardless of any company policies. The law always supersedes a policy that your employer thought up on their own. 

If you find yourself involved in a dispute or being paid incorrectly, take the time to carefully look into your legal options.