How To Calculate Time And A Half Wages

How To Calculate Time And A Half Wages

In the United States and many other countries, there is a standard work-week length, typically 40 hours on the job; if an employer wants an employee to work longer than 40 hours in a given week, they must pay what is called “time and a half” wages.

Simply put, they receive their normal wage during the first 40 hours of a work week, but once they reach 40 hours of work, they start receiving pay at the rate of time-and-a-half, or one-and-a-half times their usual salary.

Suppose Sue, an office worker in Washington state, earns $15/hr, and works 55 hours in a given week. Washington requires companies to pay workers at the rate of “time and a half” if they work more than 40 hours in a given week. How much will Sue make this week?

We know she works 55 hours; the first 40 hours are calculated at her regular wage of $15/hr, and the remaining 15 hours are calculated at the “time and a half” wage, ie: one and a half times her usual $15/hr wage. We can pop this into the calculator: 15 times 1.5 = $22.50. So for the final 15 hours of her work week, Sue makes $22.50/hr.

So how much does she make in total?

For her first 40 hours, she makes $15/hr: that’s 40 times 15, or $600.

For the last 15 hours, she makes $22.50/hr: that’s 15 times 22.50, or $337.50.

In total, therefore, she makes $600 + $337.50, or $937.50.

Notice how the last 15 hours, Sue made nearly two-thirds of the pay during her first 40 hours, so time-and-a-half really does pay off in Sue’s case.

Let’s go through another example: suppose Bill works as a machinist and earns $20/hr. If Bill pulls in a 65 hour work week while his company delivers a large order, how much will he earn that week?

Note that Bill works his first 40 hours at the rate of $20/hr, and the final 25 hours at the time-and-a-half rate, 1.5 times 20, or $30/hr.

So for the first 40 hours, Bill makes 40 times 20 = $800.

And for the next 25 hours, Bill makes 25 times 30 = $750.

So in total, Bill makes $800+$750=$1550.

Again – Bill makes nearly the same amount of pay in his 25 hours of overtime, as he did during his 40 hours of regular time work. That’s why employees love overtime and bosses hate it!

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