MassOpenBooks: The Top Overtime Earners in 2018

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According to state law, most Massachusetts employees are entitled to 1.5 times their hourly wage for time worked over 40 hours per week. The public can sort through this overtime data and other payroll information on Pioneer Institute’s MassOpenBooks

In 2018, the Commonwealth made a total of $368.15 million in overtime payments to public employees. Thirty-eight employees were paid more than $100,000 in overtime. From the top 100 earners, the average overtime pay was $101,856. While this is an astoundingly large amount, it does not tell the full story when it comes to overtime pay.

Below is a chart that highlights the top 10 overtime earners and their overtime pay as a percent of their base pay.

Source: MassOpenBooks. Hover your mouse over the data for more details.

Source: MassOpenBooks

Every top 10 overtime earner made more in overtime than base pay. Moreover, in 2018, one employee actually made more than double his base pay in overtime pay. MassDOT Highway Maintenance Foreman John Keefe earned a base salary of $70,853 and $149,550 in overtime pay. 

There wasn’t just one highway maintenance foreman among the top overtime earners. An analysis of the top 100 overtime earners indicates that certain departments and job titles are disproportionately represented. Of the top 100 overtime earners in 2018, 40 were Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) employees. Additionally, 24 employees were corrections officers, 10 were State Police troopers, nine were State Police sergeants, and 12 were MBTA police officers or sergeants.  

The majority of employees in the top 100 overtime earners work in law enforcement. Between that fact and the recent scandal, it should come as no surprise that the Department of State Police has the highest average overtime amount.


Ana Rijal is a Wellesley Freedom Project intern for Pioneer Institute. She is a rising junior studying Psychology and Philosophy.