People often talk about overtime rules as though they are simple, but the average person may not understand the intricacies of federal laws that entitle workers to overtime pay. For example, some people think they are exempt employees because they receive a salary, even though their salary is lower than the exemption standard, which means they should receive overtime wages.
There are also workers who think that overtime rules don’t apply to them because of the profession that they have chosen. For example, employees in the healthcare field, including nursing homes and assisted-living facilities, may assume (incorrectly) that overtime rules do not apply to them. However, they may still have the right to overtime pay. This is because most healthcare employees are subject to the 8 and 80 overtime rule. What does the 8 and 80 rule mean for workers?
Some businesses have more flexibility with scheduling
In general, companies have an obligation to provide overtime wages whenever a worker puts in more than 40 hours in a single work week. However, businesses in the healthcare industry have different rules that apply to them. Although it works out to the same number of hours, they are responsible for paying overtime wages if an employee puts in more than 80 hours in a two-week period instead of 40 hours in one week.
This difference in the rules makes it easier for hospitals, nursing homes, and other facilities that provide patient care to schedule enough workers to meet the needs of their patients and residents without having the logistical challenges that the 40-hour workweek would impose. The 8 and 80 rule also applies to workers who put in more than 8 hours per shift, even if they do not exceed the 80-hour threshold in many cases.
8 and 80 rule wage claims can be challenging
Given how much confusion and misinformation exists related to overtime wages and employer obligations, individual workers at nursing homes, mental health institutions or healthcare facilities may have a hard time asserting themselves based on the technical rules of federal overtime laws.
Consulting with an employment law attorney may help those who believe their employers have unfairly denied them overtime pay to finally pursue the wages that they have earned.