Overtime Rate Negotiation

This is an interesting subject. Most travelers are surprised to learn that overtime is something that can be negotiated like any other item. Here are some examples: everyone is familiar with negotiating your base rate. If you negotiate the base rate down, perhaps due to an upgrade in housing, or a tax free reimbursement, why should your overtime rate suffer and the agency benefit? Many travelers are also familiar with agencies that pay double time for overtime instead of the usual time and a half. How is it possible for them to do this? And there are number of agencies who pay less than time and a half for overtime. Is that legal? 

Key Points: 

  • There are several methods of setting overtime pay.
  • Generally speaking, all methods are legal.

  • Overtime is negotiable just like any other contract item.


Basic concepts

In fact, almost any rate an agency pays for overtime is legal. In many states, overtime laws have been interpreted to mean time and a half based on state or federal minimum wage. All healthcare professionals make substantially more than that, limiting intervention by state labor departments. Recent federal laws passed further obscure the issue of overtime (for nurses) as they define nurses  as supervisory personnel exempt from overtime regulations. While it this legislation turns out to be a red herring for hourly employees, it is still misunderstood by some employers and even some lawyers.

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