One important thing that both employers and employees should understand, when it comes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), is that some employees are exempt from the protections the act offers.
Understanding who is exempt and who is not exempt clarifies what an employer's responsibilities are toward individual employees. The following are four basic requirements that an employee has to meet in order to be exempt from the FLSA.
The employee is paid on a salary and not by the hour.
Employees who are paid by the hour always fall under FLSA protections. This holds true, regardless of how much an employee who is paid hourly earns.
Even if an hourly employee earns more than the exemption threshold, he or she will still not be considered exempt from FLSA protections, by virtue of the fact that he or she is paid by the hour.
The employee's job role is either a professional, administrative, or executive position.
An employee has to work in one of a few different types of job role to be exempt from FLSA protections. There are three different categories of exempt employee.
One possible type of employee who could be considered exempt is a professional employee. The other two possible classifications of exempt employees are administrative and executive employees.
The employee makes at least $23,660 per year.
How much an employee makes impacts whether or not that employee falls under FLSA protections. An employee who is only being paid minimum wage or slightly more is definitely going to fall under FLSA protections.
On the other hand, employees who make more will be exempt from protections and employers will not be liable for meeting certain FLSA requirements with these employees. Any employee who is earning more than $23,660 per year is exempt from the FLSA requirements.
It's worth noting that there has been talk of raising this amount in the near future. The Department of Labor could possibly raise this threshold to $47,476 in the future.
The employee is not entitled to receive overtime pay.
An employee who is exempt from the FLSA protections should be an employee who earns the same regardless of how many hours per week he or she works. Such an employee will not qualify for overtime pay if he or she must work more than 40 hours in a week.
Any employee who receives overtime pay is entitled to the protections offered by the FLSA.
For help with navigation of the complexities involved with the FLSA or for more information about options available to you, contact an FLSA attorney.