Fair Labor Standards Act

What is the FLSA?

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a group of federal rules and regulations that determine eligibility for overtime pay. In August 2004, major changes to these rules and regulations were implemented by the Department of Labor (DOL). The gist of the FLSA is that if you perform duties that do not meet one of the exemption tests developed by the DOL, your position is classified as “non-exempt” or “NE,” and you are eligible for overtime pay. However, if you perform duties that meet one of the exemption tests developed by the DOL, your position is classified as “exempt” or “E” and you are not protected by the FLSA.

One significant change to the FLSA in 2004 is the salary limit. Under the new rules and regulations, employees earning less than $23,660 per year or $455 per week are automatically non-exempt and guaranteed overtime protection, regardless of the job title or duties assigned to their positions.

FLSA buzz words to remember:

Salary limit
If you earn under $455 per week or $23,660 per year you are automatically non-exempt under the FLSA.

Exemption or Duties Tests
If your assigned duties do not meet the “test” for one of the exemptions identified by the Department of Labor, you are non-exempt. The exemption categories under the DOL are:

Executive
Administrative
Academic Administrative
Professional: Learned vs. Creative
Computer Professional
Highly Compensated
Combined Exemption
Outside Sales

For more information about the exemption or duties tests, go to: http://www.dol.gov/esa/regs/compliance/whd/fairpay/main.htm

Non-exempt vs. Exempt
If your position is classified as non-exempt (NE), you are protected by the FLSA and guaranteed overtime pay for the additional hours worked over 40 in a work week. 

If your position is classified as exempt (E), you are not protected by the FLSA or eligible for overtime pay.