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Hours of Work and Overtime


The state overtime law applies to most Wisconsin employers. Unless an exception applies, overtime wages - time and one-half the employee's regular rate of pay - must be paid for all hours worked in excess of 40 in the workweek.


Exempted from overtime pay requirements are agricultural employees; certain administrative, executive, and professional employees; certain outside sales and commissioned employees; taxi cab drivers; certain employees of motor carriers who are covered by federal transportation regulations; salespersons, parts personnel, and mechanics employed by motor vehicle dealers; employees of movies theaters; as well as a number of other individuals.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do non-profit organizations have to pay overtime?

Generally, no. 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.

What is considered a "week" for purposes of overtime?

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.

Does vacation time or sick leave count toward overtime hours?

No. Hours paid for time not worked, such as sick leave, vacation pay, or holiday pay, do NOT have to count as hours worked for purposes of computing overtime pay. Of course employers may be more generous than the law requires should they wish.

Is daily overtime required?

Generally, no. Overtime is not required for work performed on a particular day of the week - only after 40 hours in a workweek.

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

Do the overtime regulations apply to household employment?

No, the overtime law does not apply to household employment of domestic service workers or companions if the household itself employs the worker. Those types of workers, however, are entitled to overtime if a for-profit employer employs them in this capacity, placing them in private homes.

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