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Understanding your overtime options in the construction industry

For the vast majority of workers in the construction industry, overtime has to be paid at a rate of 1.5 times the standard pay rate that the worker receives. For example, if the worker is paid $20 per hour, every overtime hour has to be paid out at a rate of $30 per hour.

There are two ways to figure out which hours count as overtime hours. First, the amount of time worked past eight hours in a single day can be totaled. Next, the number of hours worked over 44 hours in a week has to be totaled up. Whichever total is greater counts as overtime.

For example, a worker may have worked three 10-hour days. Under the 44-hour rule, he or she would not be paid anything extra, as 30 total hours is still well under the mark. However, the worker should still be paid for six overtime hours, seeing as how he or she worked two hours over the eight-hour mark each day.

Banking these hours is also possible. When this is done, the worker can then use them as extra time off. After eight hours are banked, for instance, the worker may be able to take a whole day off. The employer must allow these hours to be used in the next three months, and they have to be used when the worker would be on the job otherwise.

If a worker has banked hours and then quits or is fired, the banked time then has to be paid out like standard overtime.

An overtime agreement, which allows for the banking of hours, should be in writing.

Construction workers who feel that their rights under the Employment Standards Code have been violated must know what legal options are open to them in Alberta.

Source: work .alberta.ca, "Employment Standards," accessed Aug. 04, 2016

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Ridout Barron
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