Does an employee need to be paid for overtime if I did not approve it?

Yes. If overtime hours are worked by non-exempt employees they must be paid, even if unapproved. That is why it is critical to establish how overtime approval will be handled and communicated to everyone in your unit. The guidance for affected employees should reiterate that employees should seek approval before working any overtime, but you can help by establishing rules in your unit for seeking approval in advance for projects or events that may be deadline driven and require additional hours. Since more employees in your unit may now be eligible for overtime, you will need to consider this impact when planning your overtime budget. Note that if an employee continues to work overtime without supervisory approval, then the supervisor could begin the appropriate disciplinary action with the employee.