Who Is Actually Covered By The Fair Labor Standards Act?
The Fair Labor Standards Act has a very wide scope. Over 100 million American workers are covered by the FLSA. Nearly everyone is covered when it comes to overtime provisions, which is the majority of what we handle in terms of the Fair Labor Standards Act cases. There are exemptions from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. For example, there’s an “executive exemption” for people who are considered upper-level management with their employers. Anyone who runs a recognized department of a company can be exempted from overtime, so long as they are paid a minimum salary set by federal law. Presidents, vice presidents, and general managers work many hours and are often paid a salary. If someone is paid a salary and they meet the executive exemption test, they don’t have to be paid overtime.
Another example of an overtime exemption is the “administrative” exemption. People whose job is primarily performing non-manual or office work directly related to the management or general operations of the employer may also be paid a salary without overtime.
There are executive, administrative, and professional exemptions. Most people are aware that doctors, lawyers, architects, and other types of professionals don’t have to be paid overtime. They’re normally paid a salary. But in order for any of these three exemptions to apply, the employee must be paid a salary of at least $455 a week. Even if you’re an administrator, an executive, or a professional, the exemption from overtime doesn’t take effect if you aren’t first paid a threshold minimum salary. What this means is that we often see people who would otherwise be exempt from overtime as managers or professionals, but they are paid in some way other than salary (e.g., a day rate, straight commission, etc.) and therefore are entitled to receive overtime pay for hours worked over 40 per week.
The Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime provisions only cover companies who are involved in interstate commerce and who have a revenue of at least half a million dollars a year. Very small companies often don’t have to pay overtime to their employees. Companies who are purely local and have no connection at all to interstate commerce also may not have to pay overtime to their employees.
A lot of employers believe that if they pay their employee a salary, it doesn’t matter how many hours they work, they don’t have to pay them overtime. That’s simply not the case. A person who is paid a salary and works more than 40 hours a week still has to be paid overtime if they don’t fall under one of the exemptions.
Is There A Statute Of Limitations For Filing An Overtime Case?
In an overtime case under the Fair Labor Standards Act, you can always claim two years of unpaid overtime. (In other words, if you left the company a year and 11 months ago, you could sue them today and you can only get one month of unpaid overtime). In some cases, however, when we can prove that the employer “willfully” violated the Fair Labor Standards Act, we can sue for three years, but we can never go back more than three years.
Does It Matter If I Didn’t Obtain Employers Authorization To Work In The Overtime Hours?
The employer has the responsibility to keep track of the hours that the employee is working. Normally, if an employer were unaware that someone had worked more than 40 hours, that would be addressed every week or the very next pay period. If working more than 40 hours per week is something the employer allows to continue, then the employer would not be able to defend itself by claiming the employee was required to ask permission to work overtime.
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