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The Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) requires most employers to pay overtime, but not all of them comply. The FLSA requires that employers pay overtime to employees for all hours worked over 40 unless they fall under a specific exception. This requirement applies to both hourly and salaried employees. Unfortunately, some employers misclassify their employees as exempt from the FLSA to avoid paying overtime.

Some of the most common job sectors where lost or unpaid wages occur include:

  • IT workers
  • Salespersons and commissioned employees
  • Restaurant workers and tipped employees
  • Nurses and hospital personnel
  • Call center employees
  • Delivery drivers

Who Is Exempt from Overtime Pay?

The following list provides examples of lawful exemptions from the FLSA’s overtime requirement:

  • Executive Exemption:

    The employee’s primary duty must be managing the business, and the employee must regularly direct the work of at least two full-time employees. The employee must be given the authority to hire and fire employees from the company, or to make recommendations as to hiring and firing that are given particular weight.

  • Administrative Exemption:

    The employee’s primary duty must be the performance of office work directly related to the management or general business operations of the employer, and the employee must assist with the running or servicing of the business. This includes activities such as accounting, auditing, purchasing, advertising, personnel management, or negotiations. The employee’s primary duty must include the exercise of discretion and independent judgment on matters of significance to the company.

  • Professional Exemption:

    The employee’s primary duty must be the performance of work requiring advanced knowledge in a field of science or learning, typically acquired through a college or similar program of instruction. In addition, the employee’s work must require the consistent exercise of discretion and judgment. Common examples of professionals exempt from overtime laws include doctors, lawyers, pharmacists, and engineers.

  • Computer Employee Exemption:

    The employee must engage in duties that require a level of skill similar to that of computer programmers, software engineers, or systems analysts. Exempt computer employees have significant education and/or training in the computer sciences or other technical fields. Employees engaged in manufacturing or repairing computer hardware or software, such as IT Helpdesk employees, are not included in this exemption.

  • Outside Sales Exemption:

    The employee must make sales, or obtain contracts for services or use of facilities, at a location other than their employer’s business.

For more information on exemptions, please see the Department of Labor’s Exemption Fact Sheets.

Habush Habush & Rottier can advise you on whether you are entitled to overtime and penalty damages. If you believe that your employer has failed to pay you the wages you deserve, contact Attorneys Jason Knutson or Breanne Snapp today at 608-255-6663 to speak about the details of your situation and learn more about how we can help.

Attorney Breanne L. Snapp

Breanne L. Snapp is a shareholder at the firm’s Madison office where her primary practice includes class action and personal injury work. Breanne is currently representing a group of residents in Juneau and Wood Counties who allege their groundwater has been contaminated by a large Concentrated Animal Feed Operation (CAFO). She previously helped obtain a successful settlement for 241 families in the Town of Jackson, Wisconsin who were impacted by groundwater contamination as a result of a gasoline pipeline rupture. Breanne received her J.D., cum laude, Order of the Coif, from the University of Wisconsin Law School, where she also earned a certificate in Consumer Health Advocacy. Breanne received a B.S. in Biochemistry and Psychology from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.  In her free time, Breanne enjoys live music, yoga, and spending time with friends and family. She lives in Madison with her husband, daughter, and their cat.

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