What Is Your "Regular Rate of Pay?"
Your regular rate of pay has to be at least minimum wage. If you're paid by the hour, your hourly wage is your regular rate of pay. If you're paid a salary, your regular rate of pay is your salary divided by the number of hours you worked to earn it. The following payments are included in your regular rate of pay.
- Nondiscretionary bonuses--These are bonuses that you and your employer have agreed upon in advance. They're awarded based on how well you do your job.
- Shift premiums--If you work a difficult shift, like a late night shift, a set amount may be added to your hourly rate. This is known as a shift premium.
- Noncash payments--Sometimes an employer will provide employees with noncash wages like room and board. These "wages" are included in your regular rate of pay by estimating their cost in cash.
- Bach pay awards--If you earned wages earlier that you wern't paid for some reason, you may receive a "back pay award." This requires your employer to pay you the back wages you're owed.
- On-call pay--If your employer requires you to wait in a specific place to receive a call, you should be paid for this "on-call" time.
- Cost-of-living adjustments--Sometimes an employer will raise employee' pay to keep up with inflation. This kind of hike in wages is call a cost-of-living adjustment.