Attorneys at Law

Be Informed.

Be informed.

What Employees are Exempt from Overtime?

Employment law attorneys provide assistance to both employers and employees. Employers can benefit from getting the advice of an experienced attorney who can help the employer to ensure compliance with labor laws in order to avoid penalties and litigation. Employees also benefit from professional legal advice so they understand their rights and can take action if employment laws are violated. 

One of the most important employment laws that an attorney provides assistance with is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The Fair Labor Standards Act was enacted in 1938 to prohibit child labor, to establish a minimum wage, and to establish requirements for overtime. Overtime ensures that an employee who has to work for more than 40 hours per week is provided with extra compensation for this additional time.

While many employees are protected by the Fair Labor Standards Act, not all employees are protected by the law and not all workers are entitled to overtime if they work for more than 40 hours. Curley & Rothman, LLC can provide information on which employees are entitled to overtime and can provide aid in situations where an employee who may be entitled to overtime is not paid the required amount. Give us a call to find out how employment law attorneys provide assistance with legal issues related to overtime.

What Employees are Exempt from Overtime?

According to the Fair Labor Standards Act, an employee can be considered exempt and not entitled to overtime pay provided that certain criteria are met. There are three primary criteria in determining whether or not an employee is exempt.

One of the key criteria is that the employee must receive a fixed salary that is pre-determined and that is not subject to being reduced as a result of variations in quantity of work or quality of work performed. The second key criteria is the amount of that salary. An employee has to be paid a minimum of $455 per week or $910 every two weeks in order to be considered exempt. The employee’s minimum salary has to be $1,971.66 per month, or $23,660 annually for the employee to be considered exempt from overtime pay.

The United States Department of Labor recently attempted to implement an overtime rule which would have raised the salary threshold. The DOL wanted to update the salary requirement from $455 per week to $913 per week before an employee could be considered exempt from overtime. This would mean that an employee would be entitled to receive overtime unless that employee’s salary was $47,476 annually. This would have resulted in a substantial increase in the total number of employees entitled to overtime. However, a U.S. District Court judge granted a preliminary injunction preventing the Department of Labor from implementing and enforcing the new overtime rule.

Because of the injunction, the new rule has not taken effect and it is unclear whether it will ever take effect, especially in light of the recent presidential election. If the new overtime rule remains in effect, employees can continue to be exempt once their salary is $23,660 or greater.

The final third criteria applicable in determining if an employee is exempt or not relates to the job duties of the employee. The employee has to be a professional; do computer-related work; work in an administrative or executive position; or have certain other specific job duties that fall within an exempt category.

Employers and employees should consul with an experienced attorney to find out whether a particular position is exempt or not based on the job duties that the employee undertakes as well as based on the salary that the employee is paid for the performance of workplace tasks.

Getting Help from Philadelphia Employment Law Attorneys

Philadelphia employment law attorneys at Curley & Rothman, LLC can provide assistance to employers in understanding overtime rules to make sure they comply and do not face adverse legal action. We also offer guidance on correctly classifying employees as exempt or non-exempt, and can advise you on new developments in labor law that affect obligations. We also provide representation to employees who believe they are not being paid overtime or are otherwise being deprived of wages that are due to them.

To find out more about wage and hour rules and laws related to overtime, download our Free Guide to Wages, Overtime, and Severance in Pennsylvania. You can also give us a call at 610-834-8819 or contact us to speak with an attorney who can help you with all of your legal issues related to overtime and related to other wage and hour matters that affect you or your company.


Employment LawScott Rothman