The major exemptions from overtime that most employers utilize are the so-called “white collar” exemptions for executive, administrative and professional employees. These are also the exemptions that are most often misused by employers, who misclassify employees and deny overtime to these workers who are otherwise entitled to receive time and a half for any hours over 40 in any given workweek.
In order to be considered for a white collar exemption, the employee must be paid on a salary basis at not less than $455 per week and work in a white collar capacity (not manual labor). In addition, each type of exempt employee must meet certain specific requirements regarding their job duties.
Exempt executives are those whose primary duty is managerial. Management may include directing the work of two or more full-time employees, having the authority to hire and fire or to make recommendations on employment decisions, and regularly exercising a high degree of independent judgment.
The administrative exemption may be used for employees performing office or non-manual work directly related to the management or general business operations of the employer. Their primary role is not engaged in producing the employer’s product or service. Exempt administrators regularly exercise discretion and judgment and perform under only general supervision.
The primary work of exempt professionals requires advanced knowledge in a field of science or learning which is usually acquired through a prolonged course of study. Professionals perform work which is mostly intellectual and requires the exercise of discretion and judgment. In addition to learned professionals, the FLSA also exempts creative professionals, whose primary duty requires invention, imagination, originality, or talent in a recognized artistic or creative field.
Job Title Doesn’t Matter
The job title is not determinative of exempt status. Just because you are given a managerial title does not make you exempt; the courts will look at the actual duties you perform. If you believe you are being unfairly classified as exempt and made to work more than 40 hours per week without receiving overtime pay, contact Leandros A. Vrionedes P.C. for a free consultation.