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Should I Receive Overtime Pay?

Most hourly workers receive overtime pay according to the rules set forth by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Those who do not receive overtime are deemed exempt by the FLSA. Generally, exempt employees are salaried and occupy managerial positions in which the exact number of hours they work in a week is not directly related to their overall output. Some employers will even attempt to classify a worker as exempt by arbitrarily bestowing a managerial title regardless of actual job duties, just so that they do not have to pay the worker overtime.

As always, the best way to combat such spineless business practices is by being fully aware of the FLSA classifications that define which workers are entitled to which type of pay. Job titles are mostly superficial, as the classifications of exempt workers are determined by their salary and duties. However, for the purpose of organization, overtime exempt workers can be classified as executive, administrative, professional and computer employees. Across the board, a fundamental requirement for overtime exemption is salaried compensation at no less than $455 per week.

What are the Executive Qualifications for Overtime Exemption?

If your employer claims that you are an executive, ask yourself if you meet the following requirements:

  • Primary duty is managing the company or a major division of the company
  • Responsible for directing at least two other full-time employees
  • Capable of terminating other employees and hiring new ones, or have sufficient influence within a company such that opinions concerning termination and recruitment are taken seriously

What are the Administration Qualifications for Overtime Exemption?

If you are classified as an administrative worker, check to see if the following requirements match your actual job:

  • Primary duty is non-manual and related to the overall smooth functioning of the office
  • You are a trusted source of judgment on office-related matters

What are the Professional Qualifications for Overtime Exemption?

Compare your actual work duties with the requirements for the professional classification:

  • Work requires advanced knowledge
  • Work is more intellectual than manual
  • The necessary skills were acquired by advanced education
  • Work is an extension of a certain scientific or artistic field of study

What are the Computer Employee Qualifications for Overtime Exemptions?

You must meet the following requirements if your employer classifies you as a computer employee:

  • Work must involve using systems analysis to identify the function of software and hardware systems
  • Involved in the design, development, implementation or modification of software, operating and/or web-based systems

Does My Boss Owe Me Overtime Wages?

To be sure that your employee classification matches your actual work duties, make an itemized list of all of your responsibilities at your workplace. Compare that list with the above qualifications for executive, administrative, professional and computer employees. If there is any discrepancy between the classification requirements and your actual work duties, then your employer may be attempting to circumvent paying you overtime hours by using an improper employment classification.

You may be entitled to recover the wages that you should have been paid by taking legal action against your employer. It can be a complicated and intimidating endeavor to sue your employer for lost wages without the help of an experienced employment attorney. The law firm of MacDonald, Lee & Senechalle, Ltd., with offices in Hoffman Estates and Des Plaines, has over 150 years of combined legal experience representing workers in the Midwest. For a legal opinion on anything related to employment law, reach out to us today.

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