How many hours can an employee work?

Answer: The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not limit the number of hours per day or per week that employees aged 16 years and older can be required to work. However, employers must be aware of and comply with both federal and state overtime laws when determining pay.

Pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), covered, nonexempt employees must be paid overtime pay at a rate of not less than one and onehalf times an employee's regular rate of pay after 40 hours of work in a workweek. Some exceptions to the 40 hours per week standard apply to police officers and firefighters employed by public agencies and to employees of hospitals and nursing homes.

Further, some states also have enacted overtime laws. Where an employee is subject to both the state and federal overtime laws, the employee is entitled to overtime according to the higher standard. For example, California’s overtime provisions

require that nonexempt employees 18 years of age or older cannot be employed more than eight hours in any workday or more than 40 hours in any workweek unless he or she receives one and one-half times his or her regular rate of pay for all hours worked over eight hours in any workday and over 40 hours in the workweek. Eight hours of labor constitutes a day's work, and employment beyond eight hours in any workday or more than six days in any workweek is permissible provided the employee is compensated for the overtime according to specific California requirements.