Amongst the top cited reasons for job dissatisfaction is a lack of compensation, and in a day where the price of basic necessities is inflated, you may find yourself paying closer attention to your budget than ever before. With more than half of Americans living paycheck to paycheck, it’s imperative to know and understand your take-home.

Hourly. Understanding your income is especially important as your weekly paycheck may fluctuate based on hours worked. For example, Your shift is 8a-4p = 8 hours worked. NYS law says that if you work 8 hours, you must be provided with a 30-minute *uninterrupted* lunch break. Monday to Friday, 8a-4p, with a 30-minute lunch break = 37.5 hours worked for the given week. Based on your hours worked, you can calculate your earnings, less taxes (federal/state), and any additional deductions that apply. Working a 37.5-hour work week still leaves you with 2.5 hours of work needed before overtime pay is granted. Though technically you’re working OVER your scheduled time, NYS Law also says that you are paid at your regular hourly rate until more than 40 hours are worked. Meaning that you would have to work more than 2.5 extra hours to receive time and a half pay. Each hour worked over 40 will be paid at time-and-a-half. When calculating your pay remember to consider your weekly total rather than your daily total.

i.e. – $18/hr

8a-4p, Mon-Fri= 37.5 hours @ $18/hr

8a-4:30p, Mon & Tues; 8a-5p, Wed-Fri = 41.5 hours (40 hrs @ $18/hr + 1.5 hrs @ $27/hr)

How do you record your hours? If you fill out a timesheet each week and turn it in for approval, we recommend doing it day-by-day to ensure accuracy. It can be hard to recall your hours the longer you wait to write them down. If you’re punching in and out on a computer, it’s important to be extremely diligent with your punches. Punch in when you are ready to go to work. If you arrive 30 minutes early, do not punch in unless you are given the OK to do so. Be sure to accurately punch in and out of your lunches and don’t forget to punch out when you are done for the day. Forgetting to punch in and out happens often leaving the payroll associate to track you down or assume when you left for the day (which may not always be accurate).

Salary. You can expect an identical paycheck each week (or every other week if you are biweekly). Regardless of if you are paid a salary or hourly rate you should still check your paycheck to ensure the correct amount is deposited. Errors in your paycheck can happen and the sooner you can catch them the easier they will be to correct. Though overtime may not be as readily available to a salaried employee, it can be called upon and must be pre-approved by your employer. Similarly, to an employee who is paid an hourly wage, overtime will be compensated for at time-and-a-half. To calculate your hourly wage, divide your weekly salary by the total number of hours worked.

i.e. – $500/50 hours = $10/hour

$10.00 x 0.5 = $5 more per hour with overtime pay (40 hrs @ $10 + 10 hrs @ $15 = $550)


For further assistance in your job search or your search for qualified candidates, please call (518) 275-4816.