Common Misunderstandings About The Fair Labor Standards Act

If you are paid with a salary, you can still get paid overtime. Think about that for a minute. Some employees say they work more than 50 hours a week. Then they add that they wish they could get overtime. And here’s the central issue: some of them can

Are you one of these people?

The Root of the Misconception 

Salary is not the ultimate factor when determining if you are entitled to overtime. Though it is an attribute associated with exempt employees, it is not the only thing to consider. The government outlines whether you can receive overtime in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This is why overtime pays time and a half—because the FLSA requires it. 

Instead of using how you are paid as a measuring stick, figure out if you are exempt

An exempt employee is not eligible for overtime. Another essential element of this classification is that minimum wage laws do not pertain to them. But what determines if an employee should be exempt if not for overtime? It is the type of work they perform. Exempt employees are trained and skilled professionals. 

Though salary is a good indicator of an exemption, the amount they are paid is even more critical. The FLSA has a salary benchmark. To be exempt from overtime, the salary you receive must exceed it. The salary benchmark can also be broken down by the week. If you are working 70 hours a week and are being paid slightly above the threshold, you may be entitled to overtime.

A salary benchmark was established to prevent employees from receiving a relatively low salary for the sole purpose of having an excuse not to pay them overtime. 

An exempt employee will meet all three of these requirements:

  • Paid by a salary
  • The salary exceeds the benchmark
  • They are educated and trained professionals (i.e., they studied a subject and are bringing a level of understanding to their job before ever being hired)

Non-Exempt Employees

Having an understanding of what an exempt employee is should give you a better idea of what non-exempt employees are. To start, one or more of the requirements listed above do not apply to them. 

The FLSA requires non-exempt employees to receive an hourly rate that meets or exceeds the minimum wage set by state and federal laws. Just as salary is a good indicator of an exempt employee, minimum wage employees are usually entitled to overtime. 

Law Offices of Robert Dawson

The Law Offices of Robert Dawson is passionate about employment law because we get to fight for employees. If you have legal questions about wage/salary, harassment, or discrimination in the workplace, contact the Law Offices of Robert Dawson.

The following two tabs change content below.

Law Office of Robert Dawson

You have more power than you realize. If you need a professional attorney who has built a reputation within employment and business law, contact the Law Offices of Robert Dawson. We are passionate about protecting our clients and pursuing their interests. Contact us for tailored legal solutions.

Latest posts by Law Office of Robert Dawson (see all)