How to Calculate Time and A Half?

Table of Contents

If you are a business owner, knowing how to calculate time and a half is one of the basic skills you should possess. But many find it very hard to grasp this concept as most of the resources on this topic that are available out there unnecessarily complicate the time and a half calculation process.

Learning about time and a half will help you to determine what you should pay your employees so that they don’t feel underpaid for their overtime work. In this way, you will be able to avoid getting sued by your unsatisfied employees. Also, understanding how time and a half works are essential in running a successful business.

This article will tell you what is time and a half, show you how you can calculate it, and teach you how you can apply it in the real world through various practical examples. This article will also give you an idea about when you can apply time and a half in your business.

Formula of Time and A Half 

To calculate time and a half, just multiply the regular hourly pay rate by 1.5. This formula shows how much employees will earn for overtime work in a workweek.

The formula can be expressed as:

Time and A Half = (Regular Hourly Rate) × 1.5 

What is Time and A Half?

The “time and a half” refers to an overtime rate of pay reserved for employees for working overtime. It means that for working every overtime hour, employees will receive an equivalent of 1.5 times the regular hourly rate.

In the United States, the federal overtime provision contained in the FLSA (Fair Labor Standard Act) dictates that employees covered by this act are entitled to receive overtime rate of pay if they work more than forty hours in a workweek. The law also states that the overtime rate of pay should be not less than 1.5 times their regular hourly wage.

But bear in mind that this overtime pay rate varies across companies. But the “time and a half” is the standard for most of the workplace in the United States. On top of that, some states’ labor laws dictate that employers should pay time and a half to their employees for every hour of overtime they put in. 

How to Calculate Time and A Half?

To calculate time and a half, follow the steps given below:

Step 1: First of all, note down the regular hourly wage. 

Step 2: Secondly, use the formula mentioned above to calculate the time and a half rate.

Step 3: Next, identify how many overtime hours employees worked in a workweek.

Step 4: Now, multiply the amount of given overtime hours by the time and a half rate. This will give you the overtime wages of employees in a workweek.

Step 5: Finally, add the time and a half pay with the regular wage to calculate gross payment.

Alternatively, you can calculate your time and a half by dividing your normal hourly wage with 2 and then adding the result to the regular hourly wage instead of following the procedure mentioned in “Step 2”. Both of these methods will give you the exact same result. The rest of the process is the same as before.

Practical Examples

Take a look at the following examples to understand how to calculate time and a half clearly:

Example 1:

Let’s assume a hypothetical situation where you are the owner of a restaurant. Paula, Mitchel, and Eric, these three employees work in that restaurant. Their earning history is given in the following table:

EmployeeRegular Hourly WageHours Worked Last Week

Now, calculate their time and a half (if possible) and find out their gross pay for that week.

Here, in the above example, Mitchel worked for 25 hours. But according to the Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA), employees need to work over 40 hours a workweek in order to be qualified for the time and a half pay. As Mitchel worked fewer hours than the requirement, he is not subjected to overtime pay.

So, in terms of overtime wages, Mitchel will earn $0. As a result, his gross salary for that week will be,

Gross Pay = Overtime Wages + Regular Wages

                   = $0 + ($8 × 25)

                   = $200

So, Mitchel’s income for that week will be $200.

Now, in the case of Paula, she worked more than 40 hours, so her pay is subjected to overtime. Here, her regular hourly wage is $12. So, her time and a half will be,

Time and a half = $12 × 1.5

  = $18

Let’s try to calculate Paula’s time and a half using the alternative method. The base pay rate is $12 in this case. Now, by dividing the base hourly wage with 2, you will get ($12 ÷ 2) = $6.

By adding the result with the base hourly wage, you will get Paula’s time and a half rate i.e. ($12 + $6) = $18. You can see that, using both methods, we are getting the same result.

Now, let’s find out her gross pay for that workweek. To do that, let’s calculate her overtime wage first. She worked (43-40) = 3 overtime hours that week. Multiplying that with Paula’s time and a half will give her overtime wage.

Overtime Wage = $18 × 3 = $54

So, Paula’s gross payment is going to be,

Gross Pay = Overtime Wages + Regular Wages

                   = $54 + ($12 × 40)

                   = $54 + $480

                   = $534

So, Paula earned $534 that week.

Finally, Eric worked for 51 hours in that workweek. As 51 > 40, his pay is subjected to overtime. Like before, you will pay him a regular hourly wage of up to 40 hours. And for the rest (51-40) = 11 overtime hours, you will need to pay him at the time and a half rate.

He normally gets 16 dollars per hour. So, his time and a half rate will be ($16 × 1.5) = $24.

Finally, his gross pay for that work week is going to be,

Gross Pay = Overtime Wages + Regular Wages

                   = ($24 × 11) + ($16 × 40)

                   = $264 + $640

                   = $904

So, Eric’s income is $904 for that workweek.

Example 2:

Let’s assume another hypothetical scenario where Adam works as a supervisor in a footwear manufacturing company. He is a salaried employee there and receives $900 per week for 30 hours of work. But last week he ended up working 44 hours. Determine his time and a half pay rate and his gross income.

In this example, the regular hourly wage is not given. So, let’s start our calculation by finding out the regular hourly wage for Adam. To do that, divide his weekly salary by the number of hours he is usually expected to work. In this case, the number of working hours is 30.

So, Adam’s regular hourly wage is ($900 ÷ 30) = $30.

Now, calculate his time and a half rate using the formula mentioned above:

Time and a half = $30 × 1.5

  = $45

Let’s try to calculate his time and a half rate using the alternative method. To do that, first, divide his regular hourly wage with 2. By doing so, we will get ($30 ÷ 2) = $15. Now, add this value with the regular hourly wage to get Adam’s time and a half rate.

Time and a half = $30 + $15 = $45.

Here, in this example, you can again notice that no matter what method we use to calculate the time and a half, we will always get the same result.

Now, find out his overtime wage. To do that, first determine how many overtime hours he worked that week. In this example, the number of overtime hours is (44-40) = 4. Multiplying this value with Adam’s time and a half rate will give you his overtime wage.

Overtime Wage = $45 × 4 = $180

As a result, his gross payment is going to be,

Gross Pay = Overtime Wages + Regular Wages

                   = $180 + $900

                   = $1,080

So, Adam is going to receive $1,080 for his work that week.

When Does Time and a Half Apply?

Overtime laws make it mandatory for employers to pay their employees a rate that is greater than the regular hourly wage. But in order to receive this increased pay, employees have to work a certain number of hours at the least.

For most countries including the United States, this threshold is set at 40 hours in a workweek. If a worker works more than 40 hours in any given workweek, employers are obligated to pay them at an increased pay rate for overtime work. Usually, the overtime pay rate is 1.5 times the regular hourly wage. But this can vary across countries and companies.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) contains the overtime provisions in the United States. The law dictates that employees can’t claim the “time and a half” rate of pay for working on weekends or holidays like Christmas, Easter, New Year’s Day, and May Day; except if they work overtime hours during these days.

According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), a workweek consists of a fixed and recurring period of seven consecutive days that equals 168 total hours. And it is not required for the workweek to coincide with a calendar week. 

So, employers can choose any day of the week to begin a workweek. And you are entitled to receive an overtime rate of pay for any overtime hours you’ve worked during that period.

Also, there is no regulation that limits how many hours employees aged sixteen or older may work in any given workweek, as long as they are paid overtime premium by their employer for hours that exceed a forty-hour workweek. For some states in the US, the threshold for time and a half rate for employees is set at eight hours in a workday.

One thing to mention here, not all business employers are obligated to pay time and a half to their employees if the business makes lower than a certain amount in annual sales. Again many salaried employees are not entitled to receive time and a half as they are classified as exempt from overtime laws.

Some salaried workers might still be able to earn overtime if their earnings per week are lower than a certain amount. Only those employees who are covered by the FLSA are entitled to receive time and a half pay.


Although “Time and a half” means that as an employer, you will be surrendering more payroll, you will also be acknowledging the values of your employees’ hard work and time by doing so. 

And after reading this article, hopefully, you already have a clear idea about how to calculate time and a half. Thanks for stopping by!

Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy

Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy gives the same information as normal Raman spectroscopy but with a significantly enhanced signal. It is also referred to as surface-enhanced Raman

Read More »

Mössbauer Spectroscopy

In 1958, a German physicist, Rudolf Mossbauer, invented Mossbauer spectroscopy. It is a versatile technique that provides sensitive information about the structural, magnetic, chemical and

Read More »

Energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS)

Energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) is an interesting analytical spectroscopic technique. It is mainly used to characterize and find the relative abundance of different chemical elements

Read More »

Spectrometry vs Spectroscopy

Spectroscopy is regarded as a theoretical science, while spectrometry is considered a practical measurement. Both are differently related to the interactions between matter and light.

Read More »

Astronomical spectroscopy

Isn’t it fascinating that scientists are using astronomical spectroscopy to determine the age of the Universe? How astronomical spectroscopy makes discovering the dark corners of

Read More »