Has your boss been working you more than 40 hours per week, either by request or mandatorily, and then not paying you for it? If you are a salaried employee, you may be wondering if this is legal or not. The answer is both yes and no; some salaried employees are entitled to overtime, and some are not. Fortunately, there are laws in place to protect your right to be paid for overtime hours when you are not exempt. An experienced Florida employment law attorney can review the specific facts and circumstances of your situation and advise you where you stand with regard to overtime pay; however, a general overview of salaried employees and overtime pay may also be beneficial.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal act that was enacted in 1938 at the tail end of the Great Depression in an effort to get people back to work. At the time of enactment, overtime pay, or any hours past 40 per week, made it so that employers could now pay two people for less than they could one person who worked 80 hours per week, since they now had to pay time and a half for overtime hours. The act also included regulations regarding minimum wage and child labor. The FLSA requires an employer to pay a non-exempt employee time and a half pay for any hours worked over 40 per week. The FSLA does not limit hours worked per day, or days worked per week, including overtime. Instead, it simply requires an employee to be compensated for those extra hours.
Whether or not a salaried employee must be paid overtime depends on whether the employee qualifies for an exemption from the overtime laws. Not all salaried employees are exempt from overtime requirements. If an employee does qualify for an exemption, it means the employer does not have to pay the employee overtime for hours worked over 40 per week. The available exemptions apply to five divisions – professional, executive, administrative, computer, and outside sales. These divisions share one similar requirement, in that the employee has to make no less than $455 per week. Each division also has its own requirements to qualify for exemption from paid overtime.
- Professional – broken down into two categories, learned and creative. Creative applies to those employees who are responsible for invention, imagination, or talent in a certain artistic strength. Learned applies to those who have advanced degrees in science or learning, such as doctors and lawyers.
- Executive – must manage or supervise an enterprise, or subdivision of an enterprise consisting of at least 2 employees, and be in charge of the hiring, advancement, or termination of employees.
- Administrative – must perform office/non-manual work relating to the operations of the enterprise, such as accounting and marketing staff, which make business decisions independently.
- Computer – must make no less than $27.63/hr. if not paid on a salary, and have a skilled technical position.
- Outside Sales – must be away from the place of business making sales, or handling orders and contracts for services.
If you are a salaried employee and you fit into one of the exempted categories your employer is not required to pay you overtime pay. All other workers are entitled to overtime pay.
If you have additional questions or concerns about the overtime requirements under the FLSA, or employment law in general, contact the experienced Florida employment law attorneys at Celler Legal, P.A. by calling 954-716-8601 to schedule your appointment.