What Are Your Rights As a Salaried Employee Regarding Exemptions From Overtime?


Quick Answer

Employees who are not exempt have the right to overtime pay even if they are salaried, according to the Department of Labor. The right to overtime pay and the exemption from the overtime requirement is determined by the duties performed, rate of pay and basis of pay.

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Full Answer

Pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act, each employee who works more than 40 hours in a workweek is entitled to overtime pay at the rate of one and one-half times the hourly rate, unless the individual is exempt, according to the DOL. A workweek is seven consecutive 24-hour periods that recur regularly. In some states, a non-exempt employee is entitled to overtime after working eight hours in a day, states Nolo.

An exempt employee is one who is paid on a salary or fee basis, who earns at least $455 per week as of 2015, and whose duties fall into an exemption category, according to the DOL. Salary or fee basis means that wages are not dependent upon the number of hours worked. Exempt categories of work include but are not limited to executive, administrative, professional and outside sales employees, commissioned sales employees, farm workers, and computer professionals. The exemption categories are narrow and are construed against the employer.

Overtime pay for a non-exempt, salaried employee is calculated by multiplying the hourly wage by one and one-half, explains the DOL. The hourly wage is determined by dividing the weekly salary by the number of hours the employee was hired to work each week.

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