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Top Wage and Hour Lawyer Reply: As A Salaried Employee, Am I Exempt From Overtime Pay?

| Sep 16, 2014 | minimum wage violation, overtime time violation |

Best Ohio Overtime Attorney Answer: What does it mean when my boss says that I am exempt and that I don’t get paid overtime? Are all white-collared employees exempt from being paid overtime? What should I do if my company will not pay me overtime for working over 40 hours per week? How do I find the best wage and hour lawyers in Ohio?

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The term blue-collar workers typically refers to those workers that perform manual labor for an hourly wage. The term blue-collar originates from the common uniform dress codes of industrial workplaces – these employees historically wore blue collared uniforms. On the other hand, the term white-collar employees refer to non-manual labor office workers because of the dress white shirts that are commonly worn under suit coats. Although many white-collar workers earn a salary, this does not always exempt them from overtime pay. The definition of who is exempt from being paid overtime and who is non-exempt may be changing soon.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires that covered, nonexempt employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour for all hours worked, plus time and one-half their regular hourly rates for hours worked beyond 40 per week. The FLSA provides that employers who violate the law are liable to the aggrieved employees for their back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages, plus reasonable attorney’s fees and costs. As a way of limiting who may be entitled to overtime compensation under the law, the FLSA provides a specific list of exemptions that apply to employees who may work in a certain profession, perform certain duties or earn a certain amount of money. The latter is currently under further consideration as a result of the proposed Restoring Overtime Pay for Working American’s Act, which is presently before Congress.

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The bill, which was introduced in mid-June, 2014 by nine co-sponsoring United States Senators, specifically addresses the current threshold for the FLSA “white collar exemption” or the weekly income level at which employees become exempt from overtime requirements. Currently, under the FLSA, the minimum salary level to become exempt from overtime is $455 per week as a salary, or at least $23,660 per year. Typically, most white-collar workers will make $455 per week salary and this is not one of the major factors in dispute. However, if passed, the bill would increase that threshold to $1,090 per week salary, more than double the current amount. This equated to at least $56,680 per year salary. This would have a profound effect on FLSA overtime eligibility for a lot of employees. For example, any employee making $45,000 per year would become eligible for overtime pay at time and a half. Alternatively, we will probably see a lot of companies and other employers give raises to bump those employees that are close to the threshold over the $56,680 per year salary mark. An unfortunate side effect may also be that to offset the cost of giving the bump raises, companies and employers may be forced to fire some employees to balance out the increased cost.

Additionally, the bill proposes other changes to current FLSA law such as adjusting the “highly-compensated employee” designation from $100,000 per year to $125,000 per year, as well as limiting the amount of work an exempt employee can spend every week on non-exempt job duties.

Presently, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) is considering the bill and a proposal is expected in November, 2014.

If you believe that your employer is not paying you all of your wages for all of your lawfully earned overtime compensation at a rate of one and half times your normal wages as requires under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act or Ohio Minimum Fair Wage Standards laws or you are an nonexempt employee that has been misclassified as exempt or independent contractor, contact the attorneys at The Spitz Law Firm today for a free and confidential initial consultation. The wage and hour lawyers at The Spitz Law Firm will provide you with the best options for your overtime pay dispute situation. If you even think that you may be entitled to overtime pay that you are not being paid, call (216) 291-4744.

Disclaimer:

The materials available at the top of this overtime, wage and hour web page and at this employment law website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. If you are still asking, “Am I entitled to overtime?”, “Does my job have to pay me for …”, “My paycheck is not right…” or “What do I do if…”, the your best option is to contact an Ohio overtime attorney to obtain advice with respect to FLSA questions or any particular employment law issue. Use and access to this employment law website or any of the links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship. The legal opinions expressed at the top of this page or through this site are the opinions of the individual lawyer and may not reflect the opinions of The Spitz Law Firm, Brian Spitz, or any individual attorney.