When employers miscategorize you like a salaried worker instead of an hourly worker, you do not receive payment for overtime hours. This can have a significant impact on your income, but it can be difficult to determine whether your employer has classified you correctly.
Review the factors that determine whether you are eligible for overtime pay.
Reviewing overtime requirements
The U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to pay non-exempt employees overtime pay. Overtime must be at least 1.5 times your normal hourly rate. In other words, if you make $20 per hour, you must receive $30 for each hour worked over 40 in a given week. If you receive a salary rather than an hourly wage, you may be but are not necessarily exempt from overtime pay.
Employers do not have to pay overtime for exempt employees. Unfortunately, many exempt workers should actually be considered non-exempt and receive overtime pay. The Department of Labor currently defines exempt employees as those who earn at least $455 weekly and primarily serve a professional, executive, or administrative role to assist in the operation of the company.
Examples of exempt employee categories include:
- Administrative and professional employees
- Seasonal workers
- Newspaper delivery personnel
- Workers on small farms
- Home care services, including but not limited to babysitters and companions for the elderly
If you receive a salary but your job does not meet the exemption requirements, you may be able to receive compensation for back overtime pay. Employers commonly miscategorize clerical workers, paraprofessionals, maintenance workers, technical staff, and service roles as exempt from FLSA benefits when they should actually be nonexempt.