The Legal Buzz

Author: Charlene Cleary

The Spooky Truth about Overtime
October 2019

Macbook Pro and Desktop Monitor displaying overtime

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

A common problem for employers is a lack of understanding when it comes to overtime obligations – leading to claims for unpaid hours from employees.

According to the Employment Standards Act of BC, non-management employees are entitled to receive 1 ½ times their regular pay after 8 hours a day or after 40 hours a week. They are entitled to double their regular pay after 12 hours a day. (Note: The law permits for averaging agreements but they must be compliant with the legislation.)

Paying wages by salary does not absolve you from paying overtime or extra hours. Only if the employee is working in a true management position will the overtime rules not apply. By definition, a manager is someone working in an executive capacity or whose principal responsibility is to supervise or direct employees or other resources. Although managers may not be entitled to overtime, they may be entitled to regular wages for excess hours.

Lastly, a policy that limits an employee’s right to overtime will not protect you – employers cannot ask employees to waive their basic rights.

Charlene Cleary is the principal and founding lawyer of Westshore Law. Serving clients on Vancouver Island and the mainland, she enjoys helping other business owners work through existing issues and also to help prevent future problems.

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