According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the Fair Labor Standard’s Act minimum wage and overtime provisions cover 115 million employees—representing 86% of America’s workforce. Many of these employees are salaried employees that are wrongfully denied overtime wages. Overtime for salaried employees is always available unless certain narrow exemptions apply.
The Fair Labor Standards Act requires an employers to make minimum wage and overtime payments to most salaried employees. An employer can only avoid paying overtime for its salaried employees if the following test is met:
- They pay the salaried employee $455 a week in salary; and
- they have specific job duties specified in specific exemptions outlined by the department of labor that can be found on the department of labor’s website here.
An employer also loses its overtime exemption for an employee if the employer makes deductions from an employee’s salary on a regular basis. If the employee is ready, will and able to work, deductions may not be made for time when work is not available. If such deductions are made, the employer must pay its salaried employer overtime. If they fail an employer fails to pay overtime for salaried employees, the salaried employee should call our law firm about filing a federal overtime lawsuit today.
An Employer Must Pay Overtime for Salaried Employees When the Employer Takes Improper Salary Deductions
An employer must provide overtime for salaried employees if the employer makes an ”actual practice” of improperly deducting wages from the employee’s salary. In considering whether an employer has an “actual practice” of making improper deductions, courts utilize the following factors:
- number of improper deductions
- comparison between amount of improper and proper deductions
- time period in which the employer made the improper deductions
- number and location of employees who had their pay improperly deducted and
- the existence or non-existence of a policy permitting or prohibiting improper deductions
If you are a salaried employee who works over 40 hours a week that has an employer making deductions from your pay check, give our our overtime lawyers a for a free consultation to discuss your rights to unpaid overtime pay. We’ll assess your situation and determine if you employer has violated the law by failing to provide overtime for salaried employees.
An Employer May Invoke Safe Harbor for Improper Deductions to Avoid Providing Overtime for Salaried Employees
An employer can ensure that they do not lose an overtime exemption by utilizing a safe harbor provision. An employer can avoid paying overtime for salaried employees, even after making an improper deduction, if the employer:
- clearly communicates policy prohibiting improper deductions including a complaint mechanism;
- reimburses employees for improper deductions; and
- makes a good faith commitment to comply in the future.
If, however, an employer fails to adequately utilize the safe harbor provision it still may owe overtime for salaried employees work over 40 hours in a week.