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elaws - employment laws assistance for workers and small businesses - FLSA Overtime Security Advisor

Important Information

The FLSA requires that covered employees in the United States be paid at least the federal minimum wage for each hour they work and overtime pay at one and one-half the employee's regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek. If you are unsure about whether a particular employment situation is covered by the FLSA, you should review the FLSA Coverage and Employment Status Advisor. One particular exemption, FLSA section 13(a)(1), exempts from both minimum wage and overtime pay protections bona fide executive, administrative, professional and outside sales employees. FLSA sections 13(a)(1) and 13(a)(17) also exempt certain employees in computer-related occupations. The FLSA contains several other exemptions from the minimum wage and/or overtime pay protections which are not covered in this Advisor.

For the FLSA section 13(a)(1) exemptions to apply, an employee generally must be paid on a salary basis of no less than $455 per week and perform certain types of work that:

  • is directly related to the management of his or her employer's business, or
  • is directly related to the general business operations of his or her employer or the employer's clients, or
  • requires specialized academic training for entry into a professional field, or
  • is in the computer field, or
  • is making sales away from his or her employer's place of business, or
  • is in a recognized field of artistic or creative endeavor.

FLSA Section 13(a)(17) exempts hourly paid employees who perform certain types of work in the computer field if they are paid at a rate of not less than $27.63 per hour.

Exemptions are determined based on each specific employment situation. Job titles alone do not determine the exempt or non-exempt status of any employee. Each determination is based on the specific job duties performed and compensation received. Therefore, you should run the Advisor for each specific employee or for each group of employees who perform essentially the same duties and receive essentially the same compensation package.

A number of states have also enacted minimum wage and overtime pay laws, some of which provide greater worker protections than those provided by FLSA. In those situations where an employee is covered by both Federal and state wage laws, the employee is entitled to the greater benefit or more generous rights provided under the different parts of each law. Learn more about state laws.

Before continuing, you may want to review the glossary of terms. You may also want to review the FLSA Coverage and Employment Status Advisor and/or the FLSA Hours Worked Advisor.

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