Pay and Benefits

Paying for all hours worked

You have the responsibility to compensate your employees properly.

You must pay your employees for all hours worked in a workweek. In general, “hours worked” includes all time an employee must be on duty, or at the place of work. Normally, time spent in training, traveling from site to site during the day, and doing repair work must be paid. The Wage and Hour Division (WHD)’s video on paying for hours worked provides more detail.


In general, you must pay your employees at least the federal minimum wage ($7.25) for all hours worked regardless of whether they are paid by the hour, the day, or at a piece rate. For work performed on or in connection with federal contracts, you must pay workers a higher minimum wage. Some states have set higher minimum wages. In those states, you must pay your workers at least the state minimum wage.


Unless exempt, you must pay your employees overtime pay of at least 1.5 times their regular rate of pay after 40 hours of work in a seven-day workweek.

Young female aircraft engineer apprentice at work

We’re here to help.

We are committed to helping you understand your responsibilities as an employer. Many questions about pay may be answered by using the following elaws (Employment Laws Assistance for Workers and Small Businesses) Advisors:

For additional assistance, please contact:

The Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor: 1-866-4-US-WAGE (1-866-487-9243)

All discussions with us are free and confidential.

Need more information?

The elaws (Employment Laws Assistance for Workers and Small Businesses) Advisors are a set of online tools developed by the U.S. Department of Labor to help employees and employers understand their rights and responsibilities under federal employment laws.