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be working overtime

1. To be working more hours at one's job than one is scheduled or required to do. I've been working overtime all week to get this project done by the deadline.
2. To be putting forth a lot of effort to do or accomplish something. Everyone's air conditioners have been working overtime during this heat wave. Mom has been working overtime to get more signatures on her petition for the city council.
See also: overtime, working

Chinese overtime

Overtime pay which is calculated at less than an employee's normal hourly rate (usually one-half), rather than one-and-a-half times it, as is usually paid in traditional overtime arrangements. It is a potentially derogatory term, so discretion is advised. Overall, I love having the flexibility to work the hours that I see fit; the only downside is that I only get Chinese overtime when I have to put in more time for a project than usual.
See also: Chinese, overtime
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

be working overtime

If someone or something is working overtime, they are working very hard in order to achieve something. The team had been working overtime to improve the party's image. People need more sleep when their immune mechanisms are working overtime to fight off infections. Note: The literal meaning of this expression is that someone is spending extra time doing the job that they are employed to do.
See also: overtime, working
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

be working ˈovertime

(informal) be very active or too active: There was nothing to worry about. It was just her imagination working overtime.
See also: overtime, working
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
David O'Connor of Toronto law firm Roy O'Connor LLP says Scotiabank has been making adjustments to its overtime policy since the firm began legal action on behalf of the workers.
found last year that more than 1 in 10 salaried employees perform work that should earn them overtime pay, yet are classified as white-collar workers.
Around one in five (19.2%) men work unpaid overtime, averaging 8.5 hours per week.
Over the years, many scholars have raised strong points regarding working overtime, says Hart.
"Due to the emergency nature of the police service, it requires our staff and officers to work overtime in order to respond effectively to incidents in a shift-based system."
West Midlands Police, which spent more than PS3.29 million on support staff overtime in 2013 and 2014, paid PS29,000 to one person over two years.
In this example, the additional $50.00 bonus earned and apportioned for the overtime workweek now has to be included in the regular rate calculation to correctly pay the employee.
The weekly overtime threshold is 6 hours of daytime work and 4 hours of nighttime work.
Among those working overtime in West York-Yorkshire, the average number of hours worked was 4.1 in 2014 against the UK average of four hours.
The City could have negotiated a resolution of the Bianco grievance by offering to provide him with the next available overtime shift, together with payment for any differential in the hours worked plus interest assessed from August 27, 2012 forward.
Each year former auditor-general Chrystalla Georghadji had repeated in her report that the overtime system in hospitals is broken and regularly abused by doctors and that some doctors have been paid the value of their whole annual wage in overtime over the course of a year.
The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA), which regulates overtime, currently imposes no limits on overtime hours, nor does it prohibit dismissal or any other sanction for declining overtime work.
Then, after the second overtime yielded no scoring, both squads scored eight points in the third extra session.
In the event the employee is required to work overtime, it should not be more than two hours on a given day in accordance with Article 69 of the Federal Law No 8 of 1980, which states: "The number of actual hours of overtime shall not exceed two a day, unless work is necessary to prevent the occurrence of substantial loss or a serious accident or to eliminate or alleviate its consequences."