Common Questions Regarding Overtime in BC

Employment Law | February 22, 2022

Working hours and overtime pay are heavily discussed topics for nearly every job throughout British Columbia. Despite your employment position, it is crucial to understand the facts about overtime to ensure that you are getting what you are entitled to and adhering to relevant employment standards. The Employment Standards Act (ESA) contains many provisions to ensure that employees are not overworked. If employees continue to work beyond a set number of hours per day or week, they are typically entitled to overtime pay for the additional hours. To ensure that employees and employers have the information they need, the employment lawyers at Linley Welwood have compiled a list of common questions regarding overtime in BC and their answers.

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4 Important Questions to Ask About Overtime Pay in BC

The following questions are among the most common when discussing overtime eligibility and pay in BC:

1. Are Salaried Employees Eligible for Overtime Pay?

Salaried employees are entitled to overtime pay in British Columbia, though there are a few exemptions under the ESA. Before making a claim for overtime pay, it is important to seek legal advice first. For example, if you are a salaried employee working in a management position, you would likely not be entitled to overtime pay under the ESA.

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2. Can my Employer Make me Work Overtime?

Employers are usually within their legal rights to require an employee to work overtime upon request, though the required overtime pay must be given. In BC, employers can terminate an employee’s position for almost any reason if they give that employee the proper notice or compensation. That is, if an employee is not flexible enough with scheduling or willing to work the overtime that their employer requires, they can be given notice of termination.

3. When do I Qualify for Overtime Pay?

As long as an employee is not exempt from overtime pay pursuant to the ESA, they are entitled to overtime pay under the following conditions:

  • They have worked for more than 8 hours in a day, but less than 12 hours. After 12 consecutive hours of work, employees must be paid twice their regular pay (double time).
  • They have worked for more than 40 hours in a week (Sunday to Saturday).

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4. Am I Exempt from Overtime Pay in BC?

While most employees in BC are eligible for overtime pay, some positions and job titles are explicitly excluded from the ESA. These jobs and titles can include managers, workers in certain industries, resident caretakers, teachers, and certain professionals. While these employees are not entitled to overtime pay, they must still be paid at their regular rate for any additional hours worked.

To learn more about overtime pay in BC and other topics related to employment law, get in touch with the team at Linley Welwood. We can be reached through our online contact form and will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding your potential case or our services.

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