Fortunately for workers in the United States, a myriad of state and federal laws are aimed at protecting workers from employment discrimination and at ensuring that workers are treated fairly in the workplace. Most employees, for example, must be paid overtime for all time they work over 40 hours in a given workweek. There are exceptions to this general rule though. Your employer may claim, for instance, that you qualify for the executive exemption under the overtime laws. To be certain you are not missing out on wages to which you are entitled you should have at least a basic understanding of who qualifies for the executive exemption.
The Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA, is the federal law wherein the federal minimum wage as well as the laws relating to overtime can be found. In general, the FLSA requires a covered employer to pay non-exempt employees overtime at the rate of one and one half the employee’s regular pay rate for all time the employee works over 40 hours in a given workweek. A “workweek” is a fixed and regularly recurring period of 168 hours. A workweek may start on any day of the week, as long as it starts on the same day every week. Contrary to popular belief, there is no limit to the number of hours an employee may be required to work each week, as long as overtime is paid after 40 hours. In addition, overtime is not required to be paid after 8 hours a day nor is it required on holidays or week-ends as people often believe. The only firm requirement is that overtime be paid for time worked over 40 hours in a given workweek.
There are, however, several important and commonly used exemptions to the overtime requirement. One of those exemptions covers employees who qualify as bona fide executive, administrative, professional and outside sales employees.
According to the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor, to qualify for the executive employee exemption, all of the following tests must be met:
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.
If you have additional questions or concerns about the executive exemption to the overtime laws, or you believe your employer has been using the exemption improperly, contact the experienced Florida employment law attorneys at Celler Legal, P.A. by calling 954-716-8601 to schedule your appointment.