Hours Of Work and Overtime

The Law

Who does the law affect?

Wisconsin's overtime law applies to most employment in the State. The law also provides for various exemptions, usually based upon occupation.

DWD 274.04 Exemptions

For more information on the topic of exceptions see DWD 274.04, Wisconsin Administrative Code.

Non-Profit Organizations

The overtime law does not apply to most non-profit organizations. The overtime law does apply, however, to those employees who work in certain establishments, such as restaurants or hotels, even if employed by non-profit organizations.

Household Employment

The overtime law does not apply to household employment of domestic service workers or companions if the household itself employs them. Those types of workers are entitled to overtime if a for-profit employer employs them in this capacity, placing them in private homes.

Over 40 hours worked

The law requires that employers pay time and one-half the regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours in the workweek.

A "week" is the employer's established regular reoccurring period of 7 consecutive days. Employers may schedule employees any way they wish. This means that overtime may be made mandatory. Since employers may schedule as they see fit, they may also change employees' schedules during a given week in order to prevent them from working overtime in that week.

Sick leave, vacation pay, holiday pay

Hours paid for time not worked, such as sick leave, vacation pay or holiday pay, do NOT count as hours worked for purposes of computing overtime pay.

Prevailing Wage - public works construction projects

Some public works construction projects require daily overtime and overtime on certain holidays.

The Norm

Other than in those situations, though, overtime is not required for work performed on a particular day of the week only after 40 hours in a workweek.

Filing a Complaint

Employees who are not receiving overtime as required may file a complaint on the Wisconsin Labor Standards Complaint form. It is not necessary to speak with an investigator prior to filing. Your complaint should include as much information as possible.

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