Work late and work overtime

You’re working late today?
You’re working overtime today?

Question: Are they the same?

Thank you!!

Working late means that it is late, and you are working, and probably have put in a lot of time on the job that day. Working overtime implies that you are working passed the ordinary hours, and often means that you are being paid at a higher rate for working extra hours.


Working late just means you are working past your ordinary work hours that day, not necessarily getting paid for overtime.

“Honey, I’m working late tonight. I won’t be home until 8:00 pm.”

In the US at least, working overtime means you are working more than the normal 40 hour work week and getting paid extra (normally at a rate known as “time and a half,” that is 1.5 times the regular rate) for any of the extra hours beyond the regular 40 hours. In some places, your pay is delayed for one or two weeks (until the end of the next pay period), so you may not actually get paid for the work you did this week until another week or two, i.e. on your “next” paycheck, not the paycheck you receive at the end of the current one or two week pay period. The reason for the delay is so that if you get laid off, you at least have one more paycheck coming in the period that you’re not actually working.

“With overtime, I’m working 60 hours this week. That means I’ll get paid for 70 hours on my next paycheck.”

“I’m working the normal 40 hours this week, but next week I’ll be working 60 hours. That means with overtime I’ll get paid for 110 hours on my next paycheck.”


Thank you for letting me know the details about working overtime.
Here comes another question. I posted a picture from the movie, Hidden Figures.
The two women met in a restroom. And one asked, “you’re working late today?”
I just want to know if people do say that sentence in that situation.
Is it weird to say “you’re working overtime today?”

Thank you!!!

Well, in this situation one person is just commenting on the fact that the other person is working past their normal work hours that day. So the comment/question is, “You’re working late today?” But she may very well have asked, “You’re working overtime today?” especially if she were aware of or interested in the fact that the other person worked past the normal 40 hours a week. But it would be more typical to ask the obvious question, “You’re working late today?”

By the way, overtime laws have been on the books in the United States ever since the Fair Labor Standards Act was passed in 1938.

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