The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) defines things like minimum wage and overtime in order to prevent employers from taking advantage of their workers. The federal minimum wage is currently set at $7.25 per hour and overtime is defined as any time spent working after eight hours a day or forty hours a week. Under the FLSA, all hourly, nonexempt employees are entitled to one and one-half times their normal hourly rate of pay for all the overtime they work. The FLSA protects all employees working in the U.S., regardless of their citizenship status.
The FLSA does allow for some exceptions to its overtime requirement, but it is very specific about the qualifications employees need to meet in order to be considered overtime exempt. The three main categories for overtime exemption are administrative, executive, and professional. In order to qualify for the exemption under the administrative category, an employee must perform primarily office work and provide administrative assistance directly to an executive. The executive category consists of anyone who spends the majority of her time at work managing other employees. Some of the requirements for this category include being able to discipline the employees she manages, and having significant say in the hiring and firing of those employees. For the professional category, an employee’s job must require them to have a certain set of skills or level of education in order to fulfill their responsibilities. For example, attorneys, physicians, and performers generally fit under the professional category. Continue reading