Time-and-a-Half Law and Legal Definition

The phrase ‘time-and-a-half’ is used to denote a rate of pay or compensation in which employees are compensated for one hour of work as though they had worked an hour and a half. Time-and-a-half payments may be made for overtime work; as an incentive to work on a particular day, for example, Sunday; as an incentive for a worker who is doing unusual, hazardous, complex, or otherwise special work; or as a government-mandated compensation for having workers work on particular days, for example, public holidays.

In the U.S., the concept of time-and-a-half, as well as the minimum wage, was first instituted by the Fair Labor Standards Act in1938. Overtime pay was not intended primarily as a bonus to the worker but as a penalty or fine upon the employer.