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Does my employer have to pay me overtime?

The Employment Standards Act (ESA) has minimum standards that employers must follow. This includes rules about overtime pay.

In most jobs, when you work more than 44 hours in a week, the hours above 44 are overtime hours.

You earn 1½ times your hourly pay for each hour of overtime that you work. For example, if you get paid $12 an hour, your overtime rate is $18 an hour.

These ESA rules about overtime pay do not apply to you if you agree in writing to different rules.

Rules that you can agree to

The different rules that you can agree to are:

  • taking paid time off instead of getting overtime pay
  • having your overtime "averaged", which means you get overtime on the average number of overtime hours you work during a period of 2 weeks or more, not the actual number of overtime hours you work in each week

If you agree to have your overtime averaged, your employer still has to apply to the Ministry of Labour for approval before they can use an averaging agreement. An employer who applies to the Ministry must post their application and the Ministry’s approval where workers can see them.

Unions can make averaging agreements that apply to workers.

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Find out if the rules about overtime pay apply

The Employment Standards Act (ESA) has minimum standards that employers must follow. This includes rules about overtime pay.

But not all jobs are covered by the ESA. And, for some jobs, only parts of the ESA apply.

Use the Ministry of Labour's online tool called Industries and Jobs with Exemptions or Special Rules to find out if your job is covered by the ESA and which parts of the ESA apply.

You can also call the Ministry's Employment Standards Information Centre at 1-800-531-5551, 416-326-7160, or 1-866-567-8893 (TTY).

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Keep track of your hours

It's a good idea to keep your own record of the hours that you work.

Then you can compare them with your pay stub to make sure your employer is paying what they owe you, including any overtime.

A good way to keep track of your hours is to send yourself weekly emails. Then, if there are any questions about what you're owed, you'll be able to show that you kept track of your hours as you worked them.

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Figure out how much overtime your employer should pay you

In most jobs, when you work more than 44 hours in a week, the hours above 44 are overtime hours.

You earn 1½ times your hourly pay for each hour of overtime that you work. For example, if you get paid $12 an hour, your overtime rate is $18 an hour.

Use the Ministry of Labour's Hours of Work and Overtime Tool to help figure out what your employer owes you.

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Reviewed: 
June, 2015

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