The Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was created to protect employees as well as employers. It establishes fair pay for employees and sets guidelines that must be followed when it comes to paying wages and salaries. Recently, overtime has been a hot topic in the news for salaried employees. A labor law attorney can help employees understand their rights.
Typically, salaried employees are not paid overtime no matter how many hours they work. Hourly employees are paid time and a half (their regular hourly rate plus 50 percent of that rate) in overtime pay for hours they work in excess of a 40 hour week. Salaried employees are not able to earn overtime pay if they are classified correctly as “exempt”.
Some groups of employees cannot claim overtime pay. Some examples include:
- Movie theater employees
- Live-in domestic employees
- Farm workers on small farms
- Railroad employees
- Truck drivers
- Loaders and helpers
- Computer professionals
- Auto sales people and other sales persons
- Seasonal and recreational workers
- Seamen, shipping crews
- Fishing operation employees
- Criminal investigators
- Newspaper delivery persons and people that work for small newspapers
- Certain switchboard operators
If you are an exempt employee in any of the above positions, or one that is deemed exempt, you do not have the right to earn time and one half for hours worked over 40 hours in a week under the FLSA overtime rules. You are, however, entitled to the full amount of your base pay and cannot be docked pay for working less than 40 hours in a week. If you are in one of these positions and your time is recorded on either a time clock or you work a set schedule (example 9 am to 5 pm) you cannot claim overtime pay.
However, under FLSA, if you make less than $23,600 annually, or $455 per week, you cannot be exempt from getting overtime pay. Similarly, if your employer cuts your pay because you miss part of the work day, you should not be classified as exempt. Salaried employees classified as exempt cannot have their pay reduced if there isn’t any work, or if work is slow, or if they have to miss work. However there are some salaried positions that should be paid overtime pay.
Your employer is not allowed to retaliate against you for requesting overtime pay. However, as a word of caution:
- Make sure that you are within your rights before you request overtime pay.
- Put your request in writing so that you have proof that you made your request and it was either rejected or, in a worst case scenario, you were fired as a result.
- Consult with a Los Angeles employment lawyer that focuses on employment law.
The consequence for your employer can be costly. They will be found in violation of the FLSA and the courts will allow an employment attorney to bring other employees into the complaint with you.
If you have questions about exempt versus non-exempt classifications and salary calculations, call our employment attorney today and discuss your situation for free. At Consumer Action Law Group, our labor lawyers are available to help employees with questions, and most legal advice is free on the spot. Call our labor attorneys if you think you have or get a more specific answer to your question, “Do Salary Employees Get Paid Overtime?” Call 818-254-8413 to speak to a labor law attorney.