Law Offices of Dan A. Atkerson

Understanding Overtime Laws and Getting What You’re Owed

By Dan Atkerson on August 14, 2015

Employment agreement contractHourly employees are entitled to overtime pay for any time they work beyond the standard 40 hour work week. Overtime pay is at least one and a half times your hourly pay. So if you are paid minimum wage, and you work more than 40 hours in a single work week, you should be getting paid $10.88 per hour after the original 40. Who Can Get Overtime? Certain types of employees are afforded overtime protection from the FLSA. These employees are considered “non-exempt” and include most hourly and manual labor type positions. Employees who are paid on a salary basis are usually exempt from earning overtime pay unless otherwise noted by the FLSA, such as nurses and paralegals. Police, firefighters, and paramedics are also overtime protected.

The FLSA calls any employee who works as an executive, administrator, professional, or outside sales person who makes more than $455 a week an exempt employee. If your job falls under that definition, then you are likely an exempt employee.

An executive is any employee whose primary duty is to manage a business or department.

An administrative employee does office work directly related to running a business or department without a supervisor.

A professional employee is generally a person with a four-year degree and a state certification in a specific field. This includes teachers, dentists, lawyers, accountants, etc.

An outside sales employee is a person who handles buying and selling orders for a company, mostly from outside the office.

There is also another category called computer specialist for employees who work independently without direct supervision as analysts, programmers, software engineers, or other computer workers.

If you do not fit into one of these categories and are not being paid overtime wages, then your employer may have misclassified you as an exempt employee to avoid paying you fairly. Consult an employment lawyer so that you can get what you are owed.

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