Walmart Overtime Pay: How Much Can Employees Really Make?

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Back in 2007, Walmart found errors in its own overtime calculations through an internal auditing process, volunteering to report that information to the United States Department of Labor (DOL). As a result, Walmart and the DOL agreed on a settlement for Walmart to provide retroactive pay owed to employees due to those miscalculations, plus interest. 

After that incident, we can assume that Walmart has gotten stricter on its policies and calculations, especially when it comes to overtime. 

Yes, Walmart still allows employees to get overtime hours, namely its hourly associates who work more than 40 hours each week. However, it’s not known as a place where employees can rack up extensive amounts of overtime. In fact, many employees share online that their stores are relatively strict about who earns overtime and how much.

State laws also affect some Walmart stores differently than others, like states that require employers to pay overtime after an employee works at least eight hours in a single day rather than the typical weekly schedule outlined in federal overtime laws. 

In this guide, I discuss Walmart overtime pay, how it varies by state, and the company’s salary and overtime expectations.

Walmart Overtime Pay: What’s the Law?

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulates overtime pay, minimum wage, child labor, and recordkeeping laws. Basically, it ensures that companies remain compliant with payroll to pay their employees fairly and non-exploitatively. Its laws are the federal standard, but states can piggyback off these laws to create their own, and state law often trumps federal.

As for overtime pay, the FLSA requires employees who work more than 40 hours during a workweek to get paid overtime. Overtime pay must be at least 1.5 times their regular rate. So, an employee earning $30 per hour gets an overtime rate of $45 per overtime hour.

Some workers are exempt from the FLSA’s overtime requirements. Often, salaried employees end up exempt, but that’s not always the case. The FLSA generally exempts executive, administrative, professional, and computer professionals earning at least $684 per week or $27.63 per hour. Outside sales professionals are also exempt if they’re “customarily and regularly engaged away from the employer’s place or places of business,” according to the FLSA

On the flip side, most hourly workers and non-professionals are non-exempt from the FLSA. So, at Walmart, salaried employees, like management, will likely be exempt, but hourly associates and drivers are often non-exempt. 

Walmart stores have varied hours, so Walmart has a company-wide policy to start its workweeks at 12:00 am on Saturday and end them at 11:59 pm on Friday. If a non-exempt Walmart employee works more than 40 hours during this period, they’re eligible for overtime pay for those extra hours.

The FLSA does not require vacation pay, meal breaks, sick pay, and other employee benefits, nor does it regulate pay frequency or pay raises. It’s up to companies to determine these policies to ensure transparency for employees. For example, Walmart has a bereavement policy that gives three days of paid leave for employee bereavement.

Still, overtime is non-negotiable, so, like other companies, Walmart has to stay on top of FLSA overtime rules to ensure its employees get paid properly.

For example, Walmart must pay salaried employees overtime if they aren’t exempt according to the FLSA. 

The company would calculate a salaried employee’s regular rate by dividing their salary by the number of hours their agreement covers for the year. Their overtime pay is 1.5 times that regular rate multiplied by their calculated overtime hours for the workweek.

State Laws and Walmart Overtime Pay

As I mentioned, states typically base their laws on federal overtime laws, but they can extend those laws to be even stricter than the FLSA’s standards. 

For example, some states enact daily overtime. Daily overtime considers an employee’s hours worked in one day rather than a full workweek when determining overtime. So, an employee in a state with daily overtime might earn overtime for any hours worked past eight hours in one day.

Also, some states require overtime pay for hours worked on the 7th day of a consecutive seven-day work schedule.

These states have varying overtime laws:

  • Alaska: In addition to the standard overtime pay for worked hours beyond 40 in one workweek, employees get paid 1.5 times their regular rate of pay for hours worked past eight hours in a work day. 
  • California: California employers must pay employees 1.5 times their regular rate for hours worked past eight and less than 12 in one work day and for the first eight hours worked on the 7th day if working a consecutive seven-day workweek. Also, employees earn double their regular rate for additional hours, like the 13th hour in one work day or the 9th hour on their 7th consecutive day of work.
  • Colorado: Employees earn 1.5 times their regular pay rate for any hours over 12 hours worked during a work day. Employees working more than 40 hours during a workweek also receive overtime pay. 
  • Kentucky: If a Kentucky employee works seven consecutive days, they’re entitled to 1.5 times their regular rate as overtime pay for hours worked on the 7th day. 
  • Nevada: Nevada overtime is based on minimum wage. If an employee doesn’t make at least 1.5 times the minimum wage, they’re entitled to 1.5 times their regular rate as overtime pay for hours worked past eight hours in a 24-hour period. If they do make at least 1.5 times the minimum wage, the employee still gets overtime for hours worked past 40 in one workweek.
  • Puerto Rico: The territory of Puerto Rico requires employers to pay overtime pay equal to 1.5 times an employee’s regular pay rate for hours worked past 40 in a workweek, eight in a work day, and on statutory rest days. 

Walmart must abide by these state-by-state laws with stores existing in those states, as state law takes precedence over federal law.

For example, say a Walmart employee working at a New Jersey store works Monday through Friday. On Monday and Tuesday, they have to stay past their typical end time, resulting in 10 hours worked on each day. However, Wednesday through Friday, they’re permitted to leave early, resulting in another 20 hours for all three days.

This employee worked 40 hours for the week, so they aren’t entitled to overtime pay in New Jersey.

However, if the employee worked at a California store, they would get overtime for the four extra hours they worked between Monday and Tuesday, which were beyond the state’s eight-hour limit for regular pay. 

Now, Kansas and Minnesota are outliers. These states require more hours per week before overtime must be paid. Kansas sets the requirement to 46 hours, while Minnesota sets it to 48.

Typically, these state laws only take priority over FLSA law when an employer or employee isn’t eligible for overtime under the FLSA. Generally, Walmart follows the law that’s most favorable to non-exempt employees, which, in this case, is federal law.

Base Pay At Walmart and Overtime Pay Outlook

Walmart’s average hourly wage for its entry-level associates is over $17.50. Of course, this varies by state, depending on minimum wage requirements and cost of living. Walmart also announced in early 2024 that it plans to roll out pay increases across the board, boosting its average pay rate to $18 per hour.

According to numerous Walmart employees who share their experiences across the web, Walmart typically gives its workers a 2% raise each year. For someone earning $18 per hour, that’s an additional $0.36 they’ll get the following year. By three years, they’ll make $19.09, and by five years, their rate becomes $19.85, not including any other potential raises they get along the way.

The highest reported hourly salary for Walmart employees on Payscale is $21.64, although some Walmart employees state that Walmart caps hourly rates at around $25 per hour.

Considering that hourly rates typically range between $17 and $25, that equates to an overtime pay rate of $25.50 to $37.50 for Walmart employees. 

The possibility of a Walmart employee getting overtime really depends on their store. Where some management teams might be more lax about overtime hours, others will be stricter. Generally, though, Walmart doesn’t allow extensive overtime, typically reserving it when necessary, like peak holiday periods or covering absences.

This is similar to other retail competitors, like Amazon and Costco, which have peak periods throughout the year and may allow more overtime to occur during these periods.

While it’s great to model your overtime and other payroll policies on successful companies like Walmart, you must also prioritize your own employees’ needs. Correct overtime calculations are a significant part of that.

Stick to a budget and stay compliant with payroll software, which helps you track and calculate overtime properly and adjust accordingly. 

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