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Salaried Workers and Overtime Rights

Salaried Workers and Overtime Rights

The Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA) dictates that hourly, non-exempt employees who work in excess of 40 hours per week must be paid overtime for those extra hours at a rate of 1.5 times their regular rate, and Ohio’s wage laws incorporate these overtime requirements. But what does this mean for salaried workers, who are typically classified as “exempt” employees? Do they have any options when it comes to working overtime?

What is an “Exempt” Employee?

Certain employees are “exempted” from wage and overtime requirements set forth in the FLSA and Ohio laws. “Exempt” typically includes employees that perform certain administrative, executive, and professional roles.

Still, it is the employer’s duty to prove that an employee meets very specific requirements in order to classify them as “exempt,” otherwise, the employee could be misclassified and therefore due overtime pay for any hours worked in excess of 40 per week. The requirements for exemption include those employees:

  • Who are paid no less than $684/week;
  • Who make the same each pay period, regardless of quality or quantity of work (i.e., paid on a “salaried” basis);
  • Whose duties are management-based;
  • Who regularly direct at least two full-time employees; and
  • Who either have the authority to hire and fire employees or influence these decisions.

However, employees who do not meet the above-listed criteria but who are salaried and fit into one of the categories below can also be classified as exempt:

  • Administrative: Their primary duties consist of office and other non-manual work that involves general business operations, and they exercise discretion and independent judgment when it comes to matters of significance
  • Learned Professional: Their primary duties involve work that advances knowledge, is primarily intellectual, involves topics of science or learning in nature, and is based on a prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction. They also exercise discretion and judgment in these duties
  • Creative Professional: Their duties consist of performing work involving imagination, invention, originality and talent in an artistic or creative endeavor

In addition, even if not salaried, employees whose primary duty is to make sales, where they are primarily engaged in their work in a separate location from the employer’s, also have the ability to be classified as “exempt.”

Important New Exemptions in Ohio Law

Ohio also recently made some adjustments to its overtime pay requirements, which now:

  • Exclude time spent traveling to and from worksites
  • [Unless specifically directed by the employer or a collective bargaining agreement] Exclude activities that are preliminary to the actual work activity and those which involve insignificant or insubstantial periods beyond an employee’s regularly scheduled hours
  • Prohibit opt-out class actions for overtime violations, in accordance with the FLSA and minimum wage requirements under Ohio law: This switches the standard to “opt-in” in that employees must give written consent to become a party to a class action lawsuit, and that consent must be filed with the court

Columbus, Ohio, Overtime Wage Attorneys

There is no question that employment and overtime laws are complex. If you have questions about salaried work and overtime wages, contact our Columbus, Ohio, employment law attorneys for a free consultation to find out how we can help.

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