In general, the Fair Labor Standard Act’s (“FLSA”) basic requirements are: 1) payment of a minimum wage; 2) overtime pay for the time worked over 40 hours in a workweek; 3) restrictions on child labor; and 4) employment recordkeeping. The two most contested rights under the FLSA are whether an employee was paid a minimum wage and whether an employee is eligible for overtime pay at the rate of one and one-half times their standard pay for hours worked above 40 in a workweek. Employers routinely attempt to rely on exemptions to classify employees as “exempt” from overtime pay.
Currently, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, and non-exempt employees must be paid time-and-a-half for all hours worked in excess of 40 in a seven-day workweek. Some employees are exempt from FLSA requirements including executives, administrators, and professionals. However, certain qualifications must be met for each exemption. To qualify as an exempt executive, the employee must 1) primarily manage other employees; 2) direct the work of at least two full-time employees; 3) have the authority to hire, fire, and discipline other employees; and 4) earn at least $684 per week. To qualify as an exempt professional employee, the employee must 1) primarily engage in invention, imagination or a talent in a recognized field; 2) perform work requiring advanced knowledge – i.e. work that is predominantly intellectual and requires extensive education or training; and 3) earn at least $684 per week. To qualify as an exempt administrative employee, the employee must: 1) primarily perform office or non-manual labor; 2) primarily use his/her own discretion and judgment in performing work; and 3) earn a salary of at least $684 a week. Generally, if these requirements are not met, the employee is owed minimum wage and overtime.
Employees who have been misclassified as exempt employees may be entitled to back wages in addition to penalties and attorney’s fees.
If you believe you have been misclassified or improperly denied minimum wages or overtime, call Bohrer Law Firm, LLC for a free consultation.