Are there employees that are exempt from being paid overtime?

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA) requires that most employees in the United States be paid at least minimum wage for all hours worked and overtime pay at time and a half the regular pay for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek.

However, Section 13(a)(1) of the FSLA provides an exemption for both minimum wage and overtime pay for those employed as bona fide executive, administrative, professional and outside sales employees. Section 13(a)(1) and Section 13 (a)(17) also exempt certain computer employees. To qualify for exemption, employees generally must meet certain tests regarding their job duties and be paid on a salary basis at no less that $455 per week.  Job titles do not determine exempt status.  In order for an exemption to apply, an employee’s specific job duties and salary must meet all requirements of the Department’s regulations.

To qualify for the executive employee exemption, the following criteria must be met. The employee must be compensated on a salary basis at a rate of at least $445. per week. The employee’s primary employment duties must consist of managing the enterprise, or managing a customarily recognized department or subdivision of the enterprise. The employee must customarily and regularly direct the work of at least two (2) or more other full time employees (or their equivalent). The employee must also have the authority to hire and fire other employees, or the employee’s suggestions and recommendations as to the hiring, firing, advancement, promotion or any other change in status of other employees must be given particular weight.

To qualify for the administrative employee exemption, the following criteria must be met.  To qualify for exemption, employees generally must meet certain tests regarding their job duties and be paid on a salary or fee basis at no less that $455 per week. The employee’s primary duty must be the performance of office or non-manual work directly related to the management or general business operation of the employer or employer’s customers. In addition, the employee’s primary duty includes the exercise of discretion and independent judgment with respect to matters of significance.

To be eligible for the learned professional employee exemption, the following conditions must be met. The employee must be compensated on a salary or fee basis at a rate of at least $445 per week. The employee’s primary duty must be the performance of work requiring advanced knowledge, defined as work which is predominately intellectual in character and which includes work requiring the consistent exercise of discretion and judgment.

To qualify for the creative professional employee exemption, the employee must be compensated on a salary or fee basis at a rate of at least $445 per week. Also, the employee’s primary duty must be the performance of work requiring invention, imagination, originality or talent in a recognized field of artistic or creative endeavor.

Certain computer employees are exempt from overtime benefits if they meet the following conditions. The employee must be compensated either on a salary or fee basis of at least $455 per week, or an hourly rate of no less than $27.63. The employee must also be employed as a computer systems analyst, computer programmer, software engineer or other similarly skilled worker in the computer field.

Outside sales employees may be exempt for overtime if their primary duty is to make sales, or obtain orders or contracts for services or for the use of facilities for which a consideration will be paid by the client or customer, or, if the employee’s customary and regular duties are performed away from the employer’s place, or places, of business.

Certain highly compensated employees ($100,000 or more and receive at least $455 per week) are also exempt for being paid overtime  is they perform office, or non-manual work,  and regularly perform at least one of the duties of an exempt administrative, executive or professional employee.

Overtime exemptions apply only to those engaged in “white collar” employment, and do not pertain to “blue collar” workers (those who perform manual labor consisting of manual repetitive physical skills and energy. Trades such as plumbers, electricians and carpenters are considered “blue collar” workers.  Overtime exemptions do not apply to police, firefighters, paramedics and other first responders either.

Questions about whether your job classification places you in the exempt employee classification preventing you from being eligible for overtime compensation? Do you feel you are being undercompensated fort the hours you are required to work by your employer? Call the Law Offices of Dan Newlin & Partners today for answers to all of your questions. The call is free and there are no fees or costs unless we win your case. Our firm is dedicated to protecting your interests and insuring you get all the compensation you are entitled to. Call us today at (407) 888-8000.