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Iowa Overtime Laws

If you are a resident of Iowa, you may wonder if your employer owes you overtime pay. Iowa is similar to several other states in that it does not have specific state overtime laws but instead follows the overtime provisions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). In other words, employees in Iowa are owed 1.5 times their regular pay rate for all time worked over 40 hours in a week. However, the FLSA may be applied differently in Iowa for things like compensatory time, which is discussed below.

Iowa Overtime Law Overview

Important aspects of Iowa overtime law are summarized in the chart below.

State and Federal Statutes

Overtime Calculation Methods

  • Hourly: Pay time and a half (1.5 times the regular rate) for hours worked in excess of 40 hours per workweek.
  • Hourly Plus Bonus and/or Commission: Regular rate = Total hours times hourly rate, plus the workweek equivalent of the bonus and/or commission, divided by the total hours in the workweek; then pay half of that regular rate for each overtime hour.
  • Salary: Regular rate = Salary divided by the number of hours the salary is intended to compensate.
    • If the regular hours are less than 40: Add regular rate for each hour up to 40, then pay time and a half for hours over 40.
    • If the regular hours = 40: Pay time and a half for hours over 40.

Exempt from FLSA

  • The following classes of employees are not entitled to overtime pay in Iowa (partial list):
    • Executive employees
    • Administrative employees
    • Professional employees

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Compensatory Time

In Iowa, a public employee can be paid overtime in compensatory time under an administrative code provision and the FLSA, which is time off instead of money. However, compensatory time must be subject to the following conditions:

  • The employee must decide on overtime or compensatory time unless the employer requires that the overtime be paid in money.
  • An employee may accrue up to 80 hours of compensatory time before it must be paid.
  • The compensatory time must be paid to the employee at any time or may be carried over to the next year.
  • The monetary value of the compensatory time must be paid when the employee separates, transfers, or starts a different job within the same company.

Iowa Overtime Exemptions

Several types of employees are also exempt from getting overtime wages, including:

  • Executive employees
  • Administrative employees
  • Professional employees
  • Agricultural workers on a migrant farm
  • Migrant workers
  • Outside sales people
  • Retail and sales employees
  • Employees working in connection with the publication of any weekly, semiweekly, or daily newspaper
  • Switchboard operators
  • Employees working as stevedores on a vessel other than an American vessel
  • Babysitters

Research the Law

Denied Overtime Pay in Iowa? An Attorney Can Help

Even though Iowa primarily follows the FLSA, there can be complications to the state's overtime laws, as mentioned above. If you believe you're owed overtime wages in Iowa or would like to find out more about Iowa overtime laws, it may be in your best interests to meet with an Iowa employment law attorney.

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