Compliance Watch:
What are my overtime rights in Vermont?

June 22nd 2024

Overtime laws in Vermont are designed to protect workers by mandating additional compensation for hours worked beyond a standard workweek. To provide fair compensation, employers must be familiar with the relevant regulations outlined in federal law and state labor laws governing overtime rights in Vermont.

This article provides an overview of overtime rights in Vermont, covering eligibility criteria, calculation methods, exemptions, and steps employees can take if they believe their rights have been violated.

This Article Covers

Understanding Overtime in Vermont
Common Questions About Overtime in Vermont
Legal Working Hours in Vermont
Overtime Eligibility in Vermont
    Overtime Payment Calculations in Vermont
      Receiving Overtime Payment in Vermont
      Violations of Overtime Law in Vermont

      Understanding Overtime in Vermont

      Is overtime pay mandatory in Vermont?

      Yes, overtime pay is mandatory in Vermont for eligible employees under state and federal law. Employees are classified as exempt or non-exempt from overtime provisions to determine eligibility for overtime pay. Non-exempt employees are entitled to overtime pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek.

      When do I qualify for overtime pay in Vermont?

      To qualify for overtime pay in Vermont, employees must have worked over 40 hours in a workweek. Vermont does not consider the number of daily hours for overtime compensation.

      Overtime pay is due for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek. A workweek is defined as a fixed and regularly recurring period of 168 hours (seven consecutive 24-hour periods).

      In addition, non-exempt hourly or salaried employees qualify for overtime pay. Certain categories of employees are exempt from overtime pay based on their job duties and salary level.

      How much is overtime pay in Vermont?

      In Vermont, overtime pay is calculated at a rate of 1.5 times the employee’s regular hourly rate for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek. For example, the minimum regular hourly rate in Vermont is $13.67, which means the minimum overtime rate is $20.51 per hour ($13.67 x 1.5).

      Which laws govern overtime in Vermont?

      Overtime in Vermont is primarily governed by both state and federal laws, which work in conjunction to establish and enforce standards for fair pay practices. Here are the key laws that govern overtime in Vermont:

      • Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA): This federal law sets the baseline standards for minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and youth employment in the United States. Under the FLSA, non-exempt employees must receive overtime pay at a rate of at least 1.5 times their regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek. The FLSA defines exemptions from overtime pay requirements for certain categories of employees, such as those in executive, administrative, professional, outside sales, and certain computer-related occupations.
      • Vermont Wage and Hour Laws: Vermont state law supplements the FLSA and provides additional protection for workers. It mirrors many of the federal overtime requirements and provides more stringent protections on additional avenues for enforcement beyond federal standards. Vermont has specific guidelines on compensable travel time and training time, which potentially contribute to the total hours worked and lead to overtime compensation.

      Common Questions About Overtime in Vermont

      Do employers have to pay overtime in Vermont?

      Yes, employers in Vermont have to pay overtime to eligible employees. The FLSA mandates that non-exempt employees must receive overtime pay at a rate of at least one and a half times their regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek. Vermont labor laws align with the FLSA requirements for overtime pay.

      Can an employee refuse to work overtime in Vermont?

      Yes, in the absence of a contractual obligation or agreement specifying mandatory overtime, employees have the right to refuse to work overtime hours. However, employers may have the right to require overtime work under certain circumstances, such as during emergencies, critical operation needs, or outlined in company policies. Hence, employers can take disciplinary action against employees for refusing to work overtime.

      Can I take comp time instead of overtime pay in Vermont?

      In Vermont, private-sector employers must comply with federal and state overtime laws, which require payment of overtime at a rate of 1.5 times the employee’s regular rate of pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek. Offering comp time instead of overtime pay is not permissible under these laws for private sector employees. Some employers may offer flexible work arrangements, such as adjusted work schedules or additional paid time off, but these should not be used to replace overtime pay obligations.

      Public sector employees, such as those working for government agencies, may be eligible for comp time under the provisions of the FLSA. Comp time for public sector employees must be offered at a rate of 1.5 hours for each additional hour worked.

      Can I get overtime pay in Vermont without employer approval?

      Yes, under Vermont and federal law, eligible employees are entitled to overtime pay regardless of whether the employer approved or authorized the overtime hours in advance. Employers cannot refuse to pay overtime simply because they did not authorize the hours in advance. All hours worked must be compensated accordingly.

      Does Vermont have double-time pay?

      Vermont does not have state laws mandating double-time pay. Double-time pay refers to a higher rate of pay provided to employees for hours worked beyond a certain threshold, usually after a specified number of hours in a workday or workweek, or on holidays. In Vermont, overtime pay is compensated at least one and a half times the employee’s regular rate of pay. If an employer in Vermont chooses to provide double-time pay, it would be based on their company policy, employment contract, or collective bargaining agreement.

      What is working ‘off-the-clock’ in Vermont?

      Working ‘off-the-clock’ in Vermont refers to performing job-related tasks outside your scheduled work hours for which you are not compensated. Off-the-clock work includes any job duties performed before clocking in or after clocking out, such as checking emails, preparing for a shift, cleaning up after hours, attending mandatory meetings, or completing tasks assigned by a supervisor.

      What are common ways employers do to avoid paying overtime in Vermont?

      Employers might try various tactics to avoid paying overtime, but many of these practices are illegal under federal and state laws. Here are some common methods employers use to avoid paying overtime:

      • Misclassifying employees: Employers may incorrectly classify employees as exempt from overtime pay. Only certain employees who meet specific criteria can be exempt from overtime. Common exemptions include executive, administrative, and professional employees but their job duties and salary must meet specific standards.
      • Incorrectly calculating hours worked: Employers do not accurately track or intentionally underreport an employee’s worked hours. This includes not counting time spent on work-related tasks before clocking in or after clocking out, or time spent during breaks less than 30 minutes.
      • Failing to pay for all hours worked: Some employers may ask employees to perform tasks off the clock, such as cleaning up, preparing for the next shift, or attending meetings. This time should be counted as hours worked and compensated accordingly.
      • Offering comp time instead of overtime pay: Under the FLSA, private-sector employers are prohibited from providing compensatory time off (comp time); employees must be paid overtime.
      • Manipulating work schedules: Employers might adjust work schedules to avoid paying overtime. This can involve spreading out hours to ensure no single workweek exceeds 40 hours, even if the total hours worked over multiple weeks would require overtime pay.

      Can you work seven days in a row in Vermont?

      Yes, in Vermont, employees can legally work seven days in a row. While there is no legal prohibition against working seven days in a row for adult employees in Vermont, employers must adhere to overtime pay requirements and consider the health and safety of their workforce.

      If an employee works consecutively for seven days and exceeds 40 hours in that workweek, they are entitled to overtime pay for the hours worked over 40. For example, if employees worked eight hours each day for seven days (totaling 56 hours), they would receive 16 hours of overtime pay.

      How many ten-hour days can you work in a row in Vermont?

      Vermont has no specific state law that limits the number of consecutive ten-hour days an employee can work. If an employee works ten-hour days, they could work up to four such days in a row (totaling 40 hours) without triggering overtime pay requirements. If the employee works a fifth ten-hour day in the same week, they would be entitled to ten hours of overtime pay for that week.

      However, this alternative work schedule considers employee well-being and industry-specific regulations. Working many consecutive long days without adequate rest can lead to fatigue and an increased risk of accidents and health issues, and certain industries (transportation, healthcare, and public safety) may have regulations that limit consecutive work hours to ensure safety and compliance with operational standards.

      What are full-time hours in Vermont?

      In Vermont, while the standard for full-time work is often considered to be 40 hours per week, the definition can vary based on employer policies, industry standards, and specific job roles. Employees should refer to their employer’s handbook or HR department for the specific definition of full-time hours.

      How many hours straight can you legally work in Vermont?

      While Vermont does not have a legal limit on the number of consecutive hours an adult employee can work, employers must comply with overtime pay requirements and consider the health and safety of their employees. Employers are encouraged to provide adequate rest breaks during work hours.

      Is overtime after eight hours or 40 hours in Vermont?

      In Vermont, overtime is calculated based on hours worked over 40 in a workweek. There is no requirement for overtime pay for hours worked over eight in a single day.

      If an employee works ten hours a day for four days (totaling 40 hours) and then works an additional eight hours on the fifth day, the employee would be entitled to eight hours of overtime pay for the additional hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek.

      Does working on the weekend qualify for overtime pay in Vermont?

      Working on the weekend does not automatically qualify an employee for overtime pay. Overtime is based on the total hours worked in a workweek, not on the specific days of the week the hours are worked. Hours worked on weekends are treated as the same as hours worked on weekdays. If an employee works on a weekend and their total hours for the week exceed 40, they are entitled to overtime pay for the hours worked over 40.

      If an employee works eight hours each day from Monday to Friday (totaling 40 hours) and then works an additional eight hours on Saturday, they would be entitled to eight hours of overtime pay for the hours worked on Saturday.

      How many hours off between shifts is required in Vermont?

      Vermont has no legal requirement for a minimum number of hours off between shifts for adult employees. Many employers have internal policies that provide guidelines or requirements for rest periods between shifts.

      However, Vermont has specific regulations for workers under 18 years old, including mandatory rest periods between shifts. Those under the age of 16 can only work a maximum of three hours per school day and eight hours per non-school day, while ages 16 to 17 can work a maximum of eight hours per day.

      What does ‘hours worked’ include in Vermont?

      In Vermont, ‘hours worked’ refers to all time during which an employee is required to be on duty or the employer’s premises, and all time during which the employee is suffered or permitted to work for the employer’s benefit. This definition includes:

      • Regular work hours: Time spent performing job duties, whether it’s at the employer’s place of business, a remote location, or traveling for work purposes.
      • Overtime hours: Any hours worked beyond the standard workweek which qualify for overtime pay.
      • Training and meetings: Time spent in training sessions, meetings, or other activities mandated by the employer.
      • On-call time: If an employee is required to remain on-call at the workplace or other designated location, this time may also be considered as hours worked, depending on the restrictions placed on the employee during that time.
      • Travel time: Time spent traveling during normal work hours (e.g., driving between job sites) is considered hours worked. However, travel outside of regular work hours or for the employee’s convenience may not be considered compensable time.
      • Breaks and meal periods: Short breaks (usually 20 minutes or less) are considered hours worked and must be paid. However, meal periods (typically 30 minutes or more) where the employee is completely relieved of duty are not considered hours worked and do not need to be paid, unless the employee is required to work during the meal period.

      What is the maximum number of hours a salaried employee can work in Vermont? 

      Vermont has no specific state law that sets the maximum number of hours a salaried employee can work weekly. However, employers are subject to federal and state laws regarding overtime pay and exemption status. Non-exempt salaried employees must be paid overtime for hours worked over 40 in a workweek, unless otherwise exempt under specific FLSA provisions.

      Learn more about Your Rights as a Salaried Employee in Vermont.

      What is the maximum number of hours an hourly employee can work in Vermont?

      Vermont has no specific state law that sets a maximum number of hours an hourly employee can work daily or weekly for adults (18 years or older). However, employers must ensure compliance with federal and state labor laws regarding overtime pay, breaks, and work hours. In addition, Vermont does have specific regulations for minors (individuals under 18 years old) regarding hours of work, breaks, and restrictions on working late or early hours.

      Learn more about Your Rights as an Hourly Employee in Vermont.

      Overtime Eligibility in Vermont

      Who is eligible for overtime pay in Vermont?

      Most employees in Vermont, especially those paid on an hourly basis, are considered non-exempt unless they meet specific criteria for exemption based on their job duties and salary level. Eligible employees must work more than 40 hours in a workweek to qualify for overtime compensation.

      Employers are responsible for correctly classifying employees as exempt or non-exempt based on their job duties and salary. Misclassification can lead to legal liabilities.

      Who is exempt from overtime pay in Vermont?

      In Vermont, exemptions from overtime pay follow the guidelines established under the FLSA, which sets the minimum standards for overtime pay eligibility and those specified under state law. Here are the primary categories of employees who may be exempt from overtime pay:

      • Executive Exemption: Those employees whose primary duties are managing the company or a recognized department. The employee must regularly direct the work of at least two or more other full-time employees.
      • Administrative Exemption: Those employees whose primary duties are in the office or non-manual work directly related to management or general business operations.
      • Professional Exemption: Those employees whose primary duty must be the performance of work requiring advanced knowledge or learning customarily acquired by a prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction; or requiring invention, imagination, originality, or talent in a recognized field of artistic or creative endeavor.
      • Outside Sales Exemption: Those employees who are making sales or obtaining orders or contracts for services or the use of facilities, and who work regularly away from the employer’s place of business.
      • Computer Employee Exemption: Those employed as a computer systems analyst, computer programmer, software engineer, or similarly skilled worker in the computer field. The employee must earn at least $684 per week or $27.63 per hour.
      • Highly Compensated Employees: Those employees who earn $107,432 or more annually and perform office or non-manual work.

      Other exemptions include those who:

      • work in retail or service establishments.
      • work in amusement or recreational establishments (with certain limitations).
      • work in hotels, motels, or restaurants.
      • work in hospitals, public health centers, nursing homes, maternity homes, therapeutic community residences, and residential care homes (with certain restrictions).
      • work in transportation businesses where federal overtime requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) do not apply.
      • work for a political subdivision of the state.

      In addition to meeting the above duties tests, most exempt employees must also be paid on a salary basis. The employee’s salary must meet or exceed the minimum threshold set by the FLSA which is at least $684 per week ($35,568 annually).

      Can salaried employees get overtime pay in Vermont?

      Yes, salaried employees in Vermont can receive overtime pay under certain circumstances. The key factor is whether the salaried employee is classified as exempt or non-exempt from overtime pay requirements. Salaried employees who are classified as non-exempt are entitled to overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours in a workweek.

      Learn more in detail about Vermont Salaried Employees Laws and Vermont Overtime Laws.

      Overtime Payment Calculations in Vermont

      What is my regular rate of pay in Vermont?

      Your regular rate of pay in Vermont is the basis used to calculate overtime pay when you work more than 40 hours in a workweek. If you are paid by the hour, your regular rate of pay is simply your hourly wage rate. Meanwhile, if you are paid a salary for a regular workweek, your regular rate of pay is calculated by dividing your weekly salary by the number of hours that salary is intended to compensate. For example, if you are paid a salary of $600 for a 40-hour workweek, your regular rate of pay would be $15 per hour ($600 / 40 hours).

      How do you calculate overtime in Vermont?

      Calculating overtime pay in Vermont follows the same principle as under FLSA. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

      • Determine your regular rate of pay. The regular rate of pay is used as the basis for calculating overtime pay. If you are paid by the hour, your regular rate is your hourly wage rate. If you are paid a salary, divide your weekly salary by the number of hours your salary is intended to compensate. For piece-rate or commission workers, divide your total earnings for the workweek by the total hours worked.
      • Determine overtime hours. Overtime hours are any hours worked over 40 in a workweek. Overtime pay is due for each hour worked beyond 40.
      • Calculate overtime pay. Overtime pay is calculated at a rate of 1.5 times your regular rate of pay for each overtime hour worked. For example, if your regular rate of pay is $15 per hour and you work 45 hours in a workweek, your overtime pay would be $112.50 ($15 x 1.5 x 5 hours).

      How is overtime taxed in Vermont?

      In Vermont, wages are subject to federal income tax, state income tax, and FICA taxes (Social Security and Medicare). Overtime pay is not subject to additional taxes beyond what is withheld from your regular wages.

      Receiving Overtime Payment in Vermont

      How is overtime paid in Vermont?

      Overtime pay in Vermont is paid at one and a half times the regular rate of pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek. Employers can use electronic or direct deposit methods for payment, provided they have the employee’s written consent. Employees should receive their overtime pay in the next regular paycheck, and employers must keep detailed records of all hours worked and wages paid.

      When do I receive my overtime paycheck in Vermont?

      In Vermont, employees are required to pay employees all wages owed, including overtime, at least once a week. However, if all employees agree, the employer may switch to a bi-weekly payment schedule, provided the employees are notified. The payday must occur within 6 days following the end of the pay period.

      In addition, on each payday, employers must provide a payment stub that provides a detailed statement of the total hours worked, hourly rate, gross pay, and itemized deductions. This ensures that employees receive their earned overtime pay promptly and transparently.

      Violations of Overtime Law in Vermont

      What if my employer refuses to pay me overtime in Vermont?

      If your employer refuses to pay you overtime in Vermont, you can attempt to resolve the issue directly by discussing it with your employer or the human resources department. Ensure you have accurate records of your hours worked, pay stubs, and any correspondence with your employer regarding your wages and overtime. If the issue remains unresolved, file a complaint with the Vermont Department of Labor.

      What is the penalty for failing to pay overtime in Vermont?

      In Vermont, failing to pay overtime can lead to several penalties and consequences for employers. Employers found in violation of wage regulations, including failing to pay overtime, can face up to $5,000. This fine can be imposed for each violation. Employers obligated by employment agreements to provide benefits must compensate employees for any actual damages resulting from their failure to pay these benefits, including unpaid overtime.

      How can I file a wage claim for overtime in Vermont?

      When filing a wage claim for unpaid overtime in Vermont, you must collect all relevant information and documents, including pay stubs, timesheets, work schedules, and any correspondence with your employer regarding your hours and pay. Detailed records of your hours worked and any overtime not paid are essential. File a complaint with the Vermont Department of Labor by filling out the wage claim form with accurate information regarding your employment, hours worked, and the wages owed. Submit the completed form online, by mail, or in person.

      Can employers retaliate against employees for making a wage claim in Vermont?

      No, employers in Vermont are prohibited from retaliating against employees for making a wage claim. Retaliation against employees for asserting their rights to fair wages, including filing a wage claim for unpaid overtime is illegal under state and federal laws. Retaliation can take many forms, including but not limited to, termination or firing, demotion or loss of promotion opportunities, reduction in pay or hours, unfavorable changes in job duties or work conditions, harassment or intimidation, and negative performance reviews without justification.

      If you feel you have been retaliated against by your employer, file a retaliation complaint with the Vermont Department of Labor. Provide all relevant details and documentation.

      Learn more about Vermont Labor Laws through our detailed guide.

      Important Cautionary Note

      This content is provided for informational purposes only. While we make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information presented, we cannot guarantee that it is free of errors or omissions. Users are advised to independently verify any critical information and should not solely rely on the content provided.