“Who’s that over there. Looks like he don’t care.
Almost lost his mind. Too much working overtime”
– New Order
How many hours would you say you work per week? Are you paid for overtime? Well… should you be?
Despite what you might have thought, overtime (“OT”) is not exclusive to hourly employees. Yes, you read that right – even salaried employees may be eligible for overtime pay.
A “full-time” job is typically considered to be 40 hours per week. (If that’s all you work, I’m jealous). If you work more than that, generally speaking, you are entitled to receive “overtime pay”. For federal employees, governed by the Fair Labor and Standards Act (“FLSA”), this means 1.5x your regular pay for every additional hour.
[Note: The FLSA only covers federal employees. Private sector employees must look to their state’s laws and regulations]
Whether a salaried employee is eligible, however, depends on a two-part analysis: whether the position (a) falls within a recognized exemption, e.g. “executive”, “administrative”, or “professional” (as classified by the role’s primary duties), and (b) earns a certain minimum salary.
Exemption Primary Duties
The following positions are (in conjunction with the salary requirement) generally considered exempt / not eligible for OT:
1. Executive: the “management of the enterprise in which the employee is employed, who customarily and regularly directs the work of two or more other employees, and who has the authority to hire or to fire other employees or whose recommendations as to hiring or firing, advancement or promotion or change in employee status are given particular weight.” (aka, boss man)
2. Administrative: the “performance of office or non-manual work directly related to the management or general business operations of the employer, and whose primary duty includes the exercise of discretion and independent judgment with respect to matters of significance.” (aka, manager)
3. Professional: the “performance of work requiring the knowledge of an advanced type in a field of science or learning customarily acquired by a prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction or requiring invention, imagination, originality or talent in a recognized field of artistic or creative endeavor.” (aka, general professional)
Yes, all of these are salaried positions. And yes, if the primary duties do not fall within any of the above, you may be entitled to receive overtime pay – regardless of what your boss might be telling you.
Even if the position falls within one of the above categories, you must still be earning a minimum amount per year to be exempt from OT. That is, if you earn less than the required amount, even if you are classified within one of the above categories, you should be reading this carefully…
Up until now, the minimum cap has been set quite low (relatively speaking for the positions entailed) at $455 per week (or $23,660 per year). Up until now, I say, because the Department of Labor (“DoL”) just proposed doubling the minimum salary requirement!
In what would be a game-changing revision to the FLSA, the DoL’s proposed regulation would raise the minimum bar to $970 per week (or $50,440 per year). Impressed? Well, what if I told you that this raise would provide a projected 5 million additional employees around the nation the right to OT pay?!?
… Are you one of them?