Determining whether your employer has to pay you overtime

On Behalf of | Jan 14, 2021 | Employment Law

Working long hours at your job can be beneficial for a number of reasons. You may be contributing to an exciting project or working as part of a close-knit team. Perhaps most importantly, those hours translate into bigger paychecks. 

Not everyone in Minnesota qualifies to receive overtime pay, but thanks to state and federal laws, most people do. 

Federal overtime law

According to the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, if your employer is a business with employees who produce or handle goods intended for commerce between states or if the company’s gross annual sales exceed $500,000, then you should receive overtime pay of one-and-a-half times your hourly pay for each hour you work over 40 hours. 

Hospitals, nursing home facilities, schools and government agencies must also pay overtime at this rate. 

Minnesota overtime law

State law requires all employers to pay overtime, regardless of their gross annual revenue. However, the parameters for state law are different. Employers do not have to pay the overtime until the 49th hour of the seven-day workweek. Hours one through 48 can be the regular rate for employers that do not fall under federal guidelines. 


Overtime laws do not refer to certain types of employees. You are exempt if you meet the DLI rules for salary and duty requirements as an executive, administrative or professional. Other exemptions include outside salespeople; some auto dealership salespeople, mechanics and others paid through commission or incentive; and agricultural workers with limited salaries based on their employer’s gross income. 

If the state or federal law requires your employer to pay you overtime, no agreement or policy from your employer can release the company from its legal obligation to pay.