The Fair Labor Standards Act requires that employers pay non-exempt employees time and a-half for hours worked in excess of 40 for each workweek. The FLSA does not require overtime pay for weekends, holidays or night shifts unless the total weekly hours exceed 40.
Not all employees are eligible for overtime. Most hourly paid employees are due overtime, though some industries are excluded. An employer may exempt certain salaried personnel provided that the meet the exemption criteria. First, a “salaried” employee is one who receives a fixed rate of pay regardless of the total hours worked. An employer may deduct pay for an entire day absence but any deductions for partial day absences can waive an employee’s “salaried” status.
The second step in the exemption process is to determine whether a salaried employee meets one of the FLSA exemption categories. The most common exemptions include:
- Executive Exemption
- Administrative Exemption
- Professional Exemption
- Computer Employee Exemption
- Outside Sales Exemption
Aggrieved employees can file suit under the FLSA. The statute of limitations for filing the claim is two years, or three years if the violation is willful. Employees can recover their overtime wages and potentially double damages for willful violations. A successful employee may also recover attorney fees.