The general rule, under federal law, is that employees are entitled to overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours in a week. Most people believe that workers who are paid a salary are disqualified from being paid overtime. Unfortunately, this unqualified conclusion is false. Although many salaried workers are not entitled to overtime, such entitlement is determined by several other factors that are unrelated to whether or not they are paid a salary.
For example, most people assume that a manager who is paid a salary is not entitled to overtime. Payment of a salary is only one of several requirements that must be met in order to deny a manager overtime compensation. To be denied overtime pay, the “manager” must meet all of the following requirements:
- The employee must be paid a salary of at least $455 per week, rather than an hourly rate;
- The employee’s primary job duty must be to manage the business, rather than perform non-managerial tasks;
- The employee must customarily and regularly direct the work of two or more full-time employees; and
- The employee must have the authority to hire, fire, or promote or make recommendations regarding such employee status changes that are given particular weight.
As you can see, the simple statement that salaried workers are not entitled to overtime pay, is severely misleading because of the additional requirements set by federal regulations. Therefore, even if you are paid a salary, you may be entitled to overtime if you are performing duties that do not meet the federal law’s specific requirements. Understanding the law is difficult without help and contacting an experienced wage and hour law attorney is often the first step to protecting your rights.