Who is eligible for overtime pay in BC?

Who is Eligible for Overtime Pay in BC?

Today, the Spraggs Law team discusses what British Columbians should know about overtime pay eligibility.

Who is eligible for overtime pay in BC, and what are its stipulations?

We cover these common questions– and more like them– in today’s blog.

Question #1: As a Salaried Employee in BC, Am I Entitled to Overtime Pay?

In short, yes: a salaried position does not make it so you aren’t entitled to overtime pay. 

With that being said, there are exemptions under the BC Employment Standards Act to be aware of.

For example, if you are a salaried employee working in a management position, you would not be entitled to overtime pay under the ESA. This also extends to the majority of licensed professionals, such as architects, accountants, engineers, and lawyers.

Exemptions like these are why it’s so vital to seek professional legal advice in regards to overtime pay entitlement in BC.

Question #2: Can My Employer Require Me to Work Overtime?

While your employer cannot force you to work overtime if it is outside of your regular work hours, there are two main exceptions:

  1. If your employment agreement requires you to work more hours outside of your regular hours; this is required to be paid, however
  2. There is a documented history of your employer requesting that you work overtime and you have agreed to these requests

These exceptions, however, do not mean that an employer can force you to work excessive hours that interfere with your health or safety. Please note that the ESA does not define “excessive” and instead makes the case that excess is dependent on context.

However, it’s important to remember that for most employees in BC, an employer does not need just cause to terminate an employee. If an employee refuses overtime work, an employer could terminate the employee without cause by giving the notice required under the ESA plus notice required by common law or contract. 

Question #3: Is There a Limit on Claiming Unpaid Overtime?

As stated in section 80(1) of the ESA, an employee is limited to claiming for overtime wages that were earned in the 12 months prior of:

  1. The date of the complaint; or
  2. The termination of employment.

If employment has been terminated, an employee then only has six months from the last day of employment to commence an ESB complaint for unpaid overtime.

Do You Need Help Ironing Out the Legalities Around Overtime Pay in BC? The Spraggs Law Team Is Here to Assist You

Give us a call at 604 359 1627 or contact us online for a consultation to discuss how we can offer personalized assistance based on your unique needs as a worker in British Columbia.

Please note: This article does not contain legal advice. If you would like advice on your specific situation, please contact Spraggs Law.