Exempt vs. Non-Exempt Employees

All Your Questions Answered

Exempt Vs Non Exempt

June 5th, 2019

A non-exempt employee is subject to the U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) rules on overtime and minimum wage. They must be paid minimum wage or higher and must receive “time and a half” or 1.5 times their hourly pay for anything above 40 hours per week.

So, for example, if a non-exempt employee works 45 hours in a week and their salary is $10 per hour, they would receive $10 per hour for their first 40 hours, and $15 per hour for the last 5.

Blue collar workers, police, firefighters, paramedics, and first responders are always considered non-exempt, even if they meet other exempt criteria.

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State and Federal Labor Laws:

States have their own labor laws, and an employee who is exempt from federal overtime and minimum wage laws may not be exempt from state laws.

Latest News on Exempt Employee Rules:

The U.S. Department of Labor had planned to make changes to the FLSA rules that would have increased the salary requirements in most cases to $47,500 per year to be considered exempt.

On December 2016, the new rule has been blocked from going into effect by an emergency motion from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. On June 30, 2017, the Department of Labor dropped its defense of the new rule, and on August 31 it was invalidated.


What Is An Exempt Employee

What is an exempt employee?

An exempt employee is not subject to overtime and minimum wage rules set by the FLSA. Exempt employees can legally work for less than the federal minimum wage or work more than 40 hours per week without overtime compensation.

What Qualifies An Exempt Employee

How do I determine if my employees are exempted or not?

For an employee to qualify as exempt they must be paid at least $55 per week ($23,600 per year), be paid on a salary basis, and perform exempt job duties including administrative, computer, executive, professional, creative, or outside sales duties.

Administrative Exemption

How can my employees qualify for administrative exemption?

To qualify for the administrative exemption, employees must earn at least $455 weekly. Their primary duty must be non-manual office work directly related to management or general business operations for the employer or customers. The employee must use independent judgment for significant decisions.

Computer Employee Exemption

What are the factors to be considered for computer and tech employees to be exempted?

To qualify for the computer employee exemption employees must be on a salary or fee basis of at least $455 per week or receive $27.63 in hourly pay. They must work as a computer systems analyst, computer programmer, software engineer or similarly skilled worker.

Work for exempt computer employees must include:

  • Application of systems analysis techniques and procedures.
  • The analysis, creation, design, development, documentation, testing or modification of computer systems or programs based on and related to user or system design specifications.
  • The creation, design, documentation, testing, or modification of computer programs related to operating systems.
  • A combination of the above duties, requiring the same skill level.
Executive Employee Exemption

How can I determine if my executive employees are qualified for exemption?

To qualify for the executive exemption employees must earn a salary of at least $455 weekly. Their primary duty must be managing the organization or a recognized department. They must direct 2 or more full-time employees, with the ability to hire, fire, and make decisions on employee status.

Learned Professional Exemption

How can learned professionals be suitable for exemption?

Employees who qualify for the learned professional exemption, must be on a salary or fee basis of at least $455 weekly. Their primary duty must require advanced knowledge in their field acquired by extensive education and be mostly intellectual in nature. They must exercise discretion and judgment.

What Is The Creative Professional Exemption

What are the factors to be considered for creative professionals to be exempted?

The creative professional exemption allows employers to not pay overtime if the employee is on a salary or fee basis of at least $455 per week, and their primary duty requires invention, imagination, originality or talent in a recognized artistic or creative field.

Outside Sales Exemption

How can I determine if my outside sales employees are qualified for exemption?

To be considered for the outside sales exemption an employee’s primary duty must be sales as defined in the FLSA, or getting contracts or orders for services or for the use of facilities. Employee must normally and regularly work away from the employer’s business locations.

Highly Compensated Employees

How can highly compensated employees be suitable for exemption?

An exempt highly compensated employee must perform office or non-manual work and be paid annual compensation of $100,000 or more with a $455 per weekly salary or fee. They must normally and regularly perform at least one of the duties of the exempt administrative, executive, or professional.

Do Exempt Employees Have To Pay Taxes 420X320 20171006

Do exempt employees have to pay taxes?

Yes. Exempt status means that employers are exempt from having to pay overtime to the employee. It does not mean that the employee is exempt from taxes in any way.

Do You Have To Pay Overtime To Salaried Employees

Do I have to pay overtime to salaried employees?

While salaried employees are most frequently in the exempt category, which means employers don't need to pay overtime, they are not always in it. The FSLA has specific definitions for what types of employees can and cannot receive exempt status.

What Is An Exempt Salary Employee

What is an exempt salary employee?

This means an employer pays a salary but does not have to pay minimum wage or time and a half if the employee works more than 40 hours per week.