Overtime Exemptions

Federal Law, and specifically the Fair Labor Standard Act (“FLSA”), requires that employers pay employees minimum wage and overtime pay. Overtime pay must be paid at time and one-half the regular rate of pay when employees work over 40 hours in a week. The FLSA, however, provides overtime exemptions that apply to employees who work in certain executive, administrative, professional, outside sales, and computer-related capacities.

In general, to qualify for most overtime exemptions, employees must be paid at least $455 per week on a salary basis and have specific job duties. An employee’s job title does not determine whether an overtime exemption applies to the employees’ position. Rather, it’s the employees actual job duties and payment provisions that determine whether overtime exemptions are properly applied. The improper application of an overtime exemption by an employer is known as overtime “misclassification.”

While more overtime exemptions exist, the following overtime exemptions are the most commonly abused exemptions used by employers to cheat our clients out of wages and overtime. In the event you believer your employer has engaged in overtime misclassification, give us a call at (214) 790-4454 for a free consultation to discuss your overtime eligibility.

Executive Exemption

All of the following must apply for the executive overtime exemption to apply to an employee’s position:

  • The employee must be compensated at least $455 per week on a salary basis;
  • The employee’s primary duty must consist of 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.

Administrative Exemption

All of the following must apply for the administrative exemption to apply to an employee’s position:

  • The employee must be compensated at least $455 per week on a salary basis;
  • The employee’s primary duty must be the performance of office or non-manual work directly related to the management or general business operations of the employer or the employer’s customers; and
  • The employee’s primary duty includes the exercise of discretion and independent judgment with respect to matters of significance.

Professional Exemption

All of the following must apply for the Professional Exemption to apply to an employee’s position:

  • The employee must be compensated at least $455 per week on a salary basis;
  • The employee’s primary duty must be the performance of work requiring advanced knowledge, defined as work which is predominantly intellectual in character and which includes work requiring the consistent exercise of discretion and judgment;
  • The advanced knowledge must be in a field of science or learning; and
  • The advanced knowledge must be customarily acquired by a prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction.

Computer Employee Exemption

  • The employee must be compensated either on a salary or fee basis (as defined in the regulations) at a rate not less than $455 per week or, if compensated on an hourly basis, at a rate not less than $27.63 an hour;
  • The employee must be employed as a computer systems analyst, computer programmer, software engineer or other similarly skilled worker in the computer field performing the duties described below;
  • The employee’s primary duty must consist of:
  1. The application of systems analysis techniques and procedures, including consulting with users, to determine hardware, software or system functional specifications;
  2. The design, development, documentation, analysis, creation, testing or modification of computer systems or programs, including prototypes, based on and related to user or system design specifications;
  3. The design, documentation, testing, creation or modification of computer programs related to machine operating systems; or
  4. A combination of the aforementioned duties, the performance of which requires the same level of skills.

Questions About Overtime Exemptions or Eligibility?

Call our overtime attorneys at (214) 790-4454 to discuss any questions you may have about your overtime eligibility. We will provide you with a free consultation and answer any questions you may have about overtime exemptions or unpaid overtime that your employer may owe you. We look forward to speaking with you.

Jack Siegel is the overtime lawyer responsible for this website.
The Siegel Law Group’s attorneys are based in Dallas, Texas, but help individuals whose employers misclassify them all over the country.