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Overtime pay in Alberta

Many workers in Alberta are eligible for overtime pay if they work beyond a specified number of hours in a workday or workweek. There are some types of employees to whom overtime provisions do not apply, however.

Generally, overtime pay must be paid at a rate of 1.5 times of the worker's regular hourly rate. The basic rule provides that overtime accrues when the employee works more than 8 hours in a day or more than 44 hours in a workweek. Employers will not be required to pay overtime to an employee if they have an agreement providing for the employee to take time off from work in lieu of receiving overtime.

Employers may make mistakes in calculating overtime pay for several reasons. Some do not understand that overtime pay accrues according to the work week as opposed to the pay period. This means that a new pay period's beginning will not start over the calculable overtime week when the pay period begins during the regular work week. When employees work on a commission basis or another type of incentive plan with no regular hourly wage, overtime is calculated based on the minimum wage if excess hours are worked.

Employees sometimes work under a contract in which overtime is addressed. If the contract is unfair to the employee, an employment contract dispute may arise between the employee and the employer. In some situations, an employer may simply violate the labour laws by failing or refusing to pay overtime even when the employee is covered by the wage and hour provisions. People who believe they should have been paid overtime for hours that they worked may wish to consult with a litigation lawyer who accepts wage and hour cases. A lawyer may be able to help his or her client recover owed overtime wages.

Source: Alberta, "Calculating and paying overtime pay ", December 04, 2014

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