Exempt and Non-Exempt Employees

Who is Exempt from Overtime Pay?

The vast majority of the workers in the United States are non-exempt employees, which means that they must be paid 150% of their hourly wages for each hour they work in excess of a 40 hour work week. Contrary to popular belief, salaried employees are not automatically exempt from overtime pay, nor are employees who make a large amount of money. To be exempt from overtime pay, an employee must be paid at least $455 per week, and must fall into one of the following categories:

Executive Employees

To be classified as an executive, a person must be paid on a salary, rather than hourly, basis. Additionally, that person must perform management tasks as his or her primary duty, must be in charge of at least two other employees, and must have the ability to hire and dismiss employees.
Professional Employees

A professional employee is, in most cases, a person who has engaged in a prolonged course of study in order to gain knowledge specific to his or her career. Professional employees include workers in some artistic fields, educators, and some employees who work in high-tech fields such as computer programming and analysis.

Administrative Employees

To be deemed as an exempt administrator or administrative employee, a person’s primary task must be office work that relates directly to general business operations or management procedures. In addition to other workers, educational administrators whose work relates directly to academic instruction fall into this category.

Contact a Wage and Hour Lawyer

Employment laws can be complex, and employees often feel intimidated by the prospect of filing an overtime pay lawsuit against their employers. The employment lawyers at our firm understand our clients’ needs and motivations, and can help them navigate the legal system so that they may recover the full overtime lawsuit damages to which they are entitled. If you are unsure whether you are an exempt or non-exempt employee, or if you believe you were wrongfully denied overtime pay, contact us to schedule a free consultation with an experienced wage and hour lawyer who can evaluate your situation and determine whether any employment laws were broken.