Wage and hour laws for salary employees


Introduction

In the United States, wage and hour laws are aimed at protecting workers by setting standards for minimum wage and overtime pay. These laws are governed by federal and state statutes, as well as by a body of case law developed through court decisions.

The federal wage and hour law is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA sets the nationwide minimum wage, currently $7.25 per hour, and requires employers to pay overtime to eligible employees at a rate of time-and-a-half their regular rate of pay. The FLSA also sets child labor standards, including restrictions on the types of jobs that minors may perform and the number of hours they may work.

In addition to the FLSA, many states have their own wage and hour laws that set standards that are higher than the federal requirements in some respects. For example, some states have a higher minimum wage, while others require that employees be paid for certain types of break time or meal periods. Employees are generally entitled to the protections that provide the greater benefit to them.

To be covered by the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime provisions, an employee must be “engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce” or meet certain other criteria set forth in the statute. Although this coverage is broad, there are some exceptions. For example, certain types of workers – such as independent contractors, agricultural workers, and those employed by small businesses – may not be covered by the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime provisions. In addition, there are a number of “white collar” exemptions that apply to executive, administrative, professional, outside sales, and computer employees if they meet certain duties tests set forth in the regulations. These exempt employees must also be paid on a salary basis at not less than $455 per week (or $455 per week pro-rated for part-time employment).

What is a salary?

In order to qualify for many of the protections and benefits afforded to employees under federal and state wage and hour laws, an employee must first be classified as a “salaried employee.” But what is a salary, and how is it different from an hourly wage?

A salary is a fixed rate of pay that an employee receives for performing work, regardless of the number of hours actually worked. Salary employees are typically exempt from the federal Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) minimum wage and overtime requirements. This means that they do not have to be paid extra for working more than 40 hours in a week. But just because an employee is classified as salaried does not mean that he or she is completely exempt from all wage and hour laws.

There are certain requirements that must be met in order for an employee to qualify as salaried. For instance, the employee must typically be paid on a regular basis (such as weekly or monthly), and the salary must not fluctuate based on the quality or quantity of work performed. In addition, the salary must meet a minimum threshold set by the FLSA (currently $455 per week, or $23,660 per year). Finally, the employee must typically perform certain job duties that are exempt from the FLSA’s overtime requirements.

If you have any questions about whether you are properly classified as a salaried employee, or if you believe that your employer has violated your rights under the FLSA or other wage and hour laws, you should speak with an experienced employment law attorney in your area.

What are the different types of salary employees?


There are four different types of salary employees:

  1. Exempt
  2. Non-exempt
  3. Interns
  4. Apprentices

Exempt employees are those who are not covered by the minimum wage and overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Exempt employees are typically executive, administrative, and professional employees, as well as certain computer professionals and outside sales professionals. To qualify as exempt, employees must meet certain salary and job duties requirements specified in the regulations.
Non-exempt employees are those who are covered by the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime provisions. Non-exempt employees must be paid at least the federal minimum wage for all hours worked, and time and one-half their regular rates of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek.
Interns are individuals who perform work for an employer for training purposes only. They do not displace regular employees, and they are not entitled to wages. Unpaid internships may be lawful if they meet certain criteria established by the U.S Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division .
Apprentices are workers who learn a skilled trade through a structured training program that combines on-the-job training with related classroom instruction. Apprenticeships are sponsored by employer associations, unions, businesses, or joint labor-management committees. Apprentices must be paid at least the federal minimum wage; in some cases, they may be paid lower wages established under a valid apprenticeship program .

What are the different types of wage and hour laws?


There are four different types of wage and hour laws: the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA), the Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act of 1936 (PCA), the Service Contract Act of 1965 (SCA), and the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931 (DBA).

The FLSA establishes a minimum wage for all workers in the United States, as well as overtime pay for hours worked over 40 in a week. The PCA applies to workers who are engaged in the production of goods for sale to the United States government. The SCA applies to workers who are employed under service contracts with the federal government. The DBA applies to workers who are employed on construction projects that are funded by the federal government.

How do I know if I am exempt or nonexempt?

Most employees in the United States are entitled to overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours in a week. But some workers may be exempt from overtime laws. The most common exemptions are for executive, administrative, and professional employees, as well as certain computer professionals and outside salespeople. exempt employees must meet all of the following requirements:

-Be salaried, meaning they are paid a predetermined and fixed salary that is not subject to reduction because of variations in the quality or quantity of work performed (the salary may be expressed as an hourly rate,)
-Be paid at or above a specified weekly salary level, and
-Perform primarily executive, administrative, or professional duties, as defined by the regulations.

What are the consequences for violating wage and hour laws?

The consequences for violating wage and hour laws can be severe. Employers who violate the law may be required to pay back wages to employees, as well as civil penalties. In some cases, employers may also be required to provide reinstatement or additional employment benefits to employees.

How can I avoid violating wage and hour laws?

There are a few key things you can do to avoid violating wage and hour laws:

  • Make sure you are paying employees for all the hours they work. This includes both the time they spend working on task and any time spent on activities that are necessary for their job, such as attending mandatory meetings or training sessions.
  • Do not deduct pay for employees who are late or absent from work, unless the deduction is in accordance with a valid policy that is applied consistently.
  • Make sure employees are paid at least the minimum wage for all hours worked, including any overtime hours. Overtime must be paid at 1.5 times the employee’s regular rate of pay.
  • Do not require employees to work off the clock, including during breaks or before or after their shifts.
  • Make sure employees are classified correctly as either exempt or non-exempt from overtime pay. Exempt employees must meet certain criteria set forth by federal law in order to be considered exempt, and non-exempt employees must be paid overtime for any hours worked over 40 in a week.
    Conclusion

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor standards affecting full-time and part-time workers in the private sector and in Federal, State, and local governments.

Covered nonexempt workers are entitled to a federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009. Overtime pay at a rate not less than one and one-half times the regular rate of pay is required after 40 hours of work in a workweek.

Certain full-time salaried employees may be exempt from both the minimum wage and overtime pay protections. To qualify for exemption, employees generally must meet certain tests regarding their job duties and be paid on a salary basis at not less than $455 per week ($23,660 per year).


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