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American Samoa

Working Hours and Overtime Regulations

Understand the laws governing work hours and overtime in American Samoa

Standard working hours

The standard working hours in American Samoa are established by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as amended and applied through the territory's legal code.

A standard workweek in American Samoa consists of 40 hours. There is no legal limit on the total number of hours an employee aged 16 or older can work in a week.


American Samoa adheres to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for overtime regulations, ensuring fair compensation for extended work hours. Here's a detailed breakdown of the rules and compensation for overtime work:

Eligibility for Overtime Pay

  • The FLSA covers most employees in American Samoa unless specifically exempted by the Act.
  • Common exemptions include certain executive, administrative, professional, and independent contractor roles.

When Overtime Pay Applies

  • Employees are entitled to overtime pay for all hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek.
  • A workweek is defined as a fixed and recurring period of 168 consecutive hours (7 days).
  • It's important to note that the workweek does not necessarily have to coincide with the calendar week.

Overtime Pay Rate

  • The overtime pay rate must be at least one and a half times the employee's regular rate of pay.
  • The regular rate of pay includes the employee's base salary or wages and any incentive pay earned during the regular workweek.

Additional Considerations

  • Employers cannot average employee hours over two or more workweeks to avoid overtime obligations.
  • There is no legal limit on the number of total hours an employee aged 16 or older can work in a week, as long as overtime is compensated accordingly.
  • Employers have the discretion to offer compensatory time off (comp time) in lieu of cash payment for overtime, but only with the employee's mutual agreement. The comp time must be accrued at a rate of one and a half hours of leave for every overtime hour worked.

Rest periods and breaks

Currently, there are no mandated rest periods or breaks for employees in American Samoa under the territory's legal code or the applied Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This means employers have discretion in determining these policies within their workplaces.

Here's a breakdown of the key points:

  • Federal Regulations (FLSA): The FLSA does not establish specific requirements for meal or rest breaks for covered non-exempt employees.
  • Local Regulations: American Samoa labor laws currently do not dictate mandated breaks or rest periods.

Employer Discretion:

Employers have the autonomy to establish policies regarding breaks and rest periods within their organization. These policies should be clearly communicated to employees through handbooks, contracts, or official company announcements.

While not mandated, it's considered good practice for employers to provide reasonable breaks and rest periods throughout the workday for employee well-being and productivity. This might include:

  • Short breaks throughout the shift (e.g., bathroom breaks, water breaks)
  • Meal breaks for longer shifts (typically 30 minutes or more)

Entitlements to Consider:

Although not mandated, some specific situations might grant employees certain break entitlements:

  • Nursing mothers: Employers are required by federal law to provide reasonable break time for nursing mothers to express breast milk for their babies.
  • Medical conditions: Employees with documented medical conditions may be entitled to reasonable breaks to accommodate their needs under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). However, this requires an interactive process between the employer and employee to determine appropriate accommodations.

Night shift and weekend regulations

American Samoa adheres to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for work hours regulations. This means there are no specific legal mandates for night shift or weekend work differentials, but there are considerations for overtime pay.

Here's a breakdown of the key points:

Night Shift Differential (AS Code Annotated ยง 32.0323)

The FLSA does not require employers to provide additional compensation for working night shifts. However, American Samoa regulations allow employers to establish shift differentials at their discretion.

  • A shift differential is a wage premium paid to employees who regularly work outside standard daytime hours.
  • These differentials are not mandated by law but can be offered as an incentive to compensate for the potential disruptions to sleep and social life associated with night shifts.

Example: An employer might offer a night shift differential of $.15 per hour for the "swing shift" and $.25 per hour for the "graveyard shift" on top of the employee's base wage.

Weekend Work and Overtime (AS Code Annotated ยง 32.0323)

  • Working weekends does not automatically entitle employees to extra pay unless they exceed the 40-hour workweek threshold.
  • The key factor for overtime compensation is the total number of hours worked, not the specific days.
  • If an employee works more than 40 hours in a workweek, which may include weekend hours, they are entitled to overtime pay at a rate of one and a half times their regular rate for all hours exceeding 40.
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