Unpaid Overtime: Salary Alone Is Not Enough

Unpaid Overtime: Salary Alone Is Not Enough

Do you not get paid overtime because your employer pays you a salary? One of the most common misconceptions that I come across are employees who think they are not entitled to be paid overtime because they are paid on a salary. Stated simply; salary alone is not enough to exempt you from overtime. In order for your employer to not have to pay you overtime compensation, it must prove that the work you perform falls under a specific exemption. The most common overtime exemptions are the administrative, executive and professional exemptions. Each of these overtime exemptions require the employer to prove more than the employee is paid a salary in order to qualify for the exemption. Employers must prove the following to qualify for protection under either the administrative, executive or professional exemptions:

Administrative Exemption
To qualify for the administrative employee exemption, all of the following tests must be met:

• The employee must be compensated on a salary or fee basis at a rate not less than $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 operations of the employer or the employer’s customers; and
•The employee’s primary duty includes the exercise of discretion and independent judgment with respect
to matters of significance.

Executive Exemption
To qualify for the executive employee exemption, all of the following tests must be met:

• The employee must be compensated on a salary basis at a rate not less than $455 per week;
• The employee’s primary duty must be 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 or more other full-time
employees or their equivalent; and
• The employee must have the authority to hire or fire other employees, or the employee’s suggestions
and recommendations as to the hiring, firing, advancement, promotion or any other change of status of
other employees must be given particular weight.

Professional Exemption
To qualify for the learned professional employee exemption, all of the following tests must be met:

• The employee must be compensated on a salary or fee basis at a rate not less than $455 per week;
• The employee’s primary duty must be the performance of work requiring advanced knowledge, defined
as work which is predominantly intellectual in character and which includes work requiring the
consistent exercise of discretion and judgment;
• The advanced knowledge must be in a field of science or learning; and
• The advanced knowledge must be customarily acquired by a prolonged course of specialized intellectual
instruction.

If you believe you should be receiving overtime compensation and that your employer is improperly treating you as an exempt employee, contact Attorney Shafran at any time to learn more about your overtime rights.

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