As a business owner and employer, it is crucial that you understand all the wage and hour regulations that are required in the USVI as they are significantly different than the federal overtime requirements exist so you do not infringe on your employees’ rights. One of the issues to familiarize yourself with is when you are required to pay overtime in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Here is a quick overview of when you are required to pay overtime in the USVI:
The minimum wage in the U.S. Virgin Islands, as of Feb. 2021, is $10.50/hour.
An eligible hourly employee is to be paid overtime pay, or “time-and-a-half” of their regular hourly rate, when they work in a workweek (Monday through Sunday) for all hours worked:
- over 8 hours each day;
- over 40 hours in any workweek;
- or all hours worked on a 6th or 7th consecutive day (*in tourism-related industries only the 7th consecutive day is an overtime day);
-The eligible employee is to be paid whichever of the three above calculations pays the employee the highest amount.
For example, if an employee who is paid $12/hr worked 5 hours a day from Monday through Saturday, such would total 30 hours of work during a workweek. The employee did not work over eight hours a day since they worked only 5 hours a day, or over 40 hours in that workweek as they worked 30 hours in the workweek. Thus, their overtime payments for those first two scenarios are zero dollars. However, they did work a sixth consecutive day, therefore the five hours they worked that day are all overtime hours and therefore they are entitled to $18/hour in overtime pay for the five hours worked on Saturday in addition to their normal wages for the work performed Monday through Friday in that workweek. Their total gross payment for that workweek would be $390.00.
It is important to note there are some exceptions. Not every employee our wage earner is entitled to overtime payments. Here are just a few examples of some types of employees/wage eareners who are not entitled to overtime:
- Independent contractors
- FLSA-exempt executives, administrative employees and other professionals who are paid a salary rather than hourly wages (see further information below)
- Employees of certain types of seasonal recreational businesses
- Door to door salespeople
- Seamen or workers in the fishing industry
- Criminal investigators
- Employees on small farms
- Casual babysitters
With regard to salaried workers, generally those workers must earn at least $684 per week to be exempt, and must receive the same salary each week regardless of the total number of hours they work or the quality of the work they perform. The nature of the employee’s work must be administrative (non-manual or office work related to business operations), executive (management work) or otherwise professional (requiring advanced knowledge in a field of learning or creativity) for the employee to be exempt from overtime requirements.
For more information about your responsibility as a business owner to offer overtime pay and to whom you must pay it, contact a skilled employment lawyer in the U.S. Virgin Islands.