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The Department of Labor (DOL) regulates overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which is the federal statute that governs overtime pay for most workers in the United States.

Under the FLSA, overtime refers to any time worked by an employee during a work week in excess of 40 hours.

The FLSA classifies employees as either exempt or non-exempt from overtime pay. If an employee is classified as non-exempt under FLSA regulations, an employer cannot refuse to pay that employee overtime pay. Furthermore, non-exempt employees must be paid OT pay at a rate of 1.5 times their regular rate of pay for each hour above 40 hours worked in a work week.

Exempt From Overtime

Under the FLSA, exempt employees are not entitled to OT pay. Establishing that an employee is exempt from FLSA overtime requirements essentially involves three basic tests:

  • A salary basis to test – evaluating how the employee is paid (hourly or salary)
  • Salary level test – evaluating how much the employee earns. The current minimum salary to be considered exempt is $913/week
  • A standard duties to test – evaluating whether or not the employee perform the kind of job duties that the FLSA means to exclude from overtime requirements

Your job title never classifies you an exempt under the FLSA. So, just because you have been titled a “manager or administrator” does not classify you as exempt and ineligible for overtime pay. Similarly, receiving a salary above $913/week does not necessarily classify you as exempt. With only a few exceptions, you will only be considered exempt if you satisfy all of the above criteria.

Which Employers Are Covered by FLSA OT Regulations?

Nearly every employer is covered by the FLSA, including employers with an annual dollar volume of the $500,000 or more, health care facilities, residential care facilities, schools, and government agencies, and any business involving interstate commerce.

Many states and local jurisdiction also have their own wage and hour laws that govern overtime pay. Workers in Tennessee, which does not have its own wage and hour laws, are generally subject to the federal regulations established within the FLSA.

Moreover, state and local wage and hour laws are often more generous to employees than the FLSA. For example, some states require daily OT pay when an employee works more than 8 hours in a workday. Also, many states and local jurisdictions require overtime to be paid at a rate that is higher than the FLSA minimum.

To be sure that you are being paid what you’re entitled to receive, check your own state and local overtime regulations by consulting with an experienced employment law attorney in the state or municipality in which you work.

For more information on overtime, click here!

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