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FLSA Commonly Used Exemptions for Employees

April 18, 2010

In a recent blog, our Orange County Labor and Employment Lawyers discussed the topic of "non-exempt" employees versus "exempt" employees in regard to employee misclassification in the workplace.

According to the Fair Labor and Standards Act (FLSA), employees can be exempt from overtime pay provisions, exempt from both overtime and minimum wage pay provisions, and exempt from the FLSA's child labor provisions.

Examples of employees who can frequently be misclassified include managers, office employees, non-manual employees, or supervisors who do not manage two or more employees and who do not spend half of their time performing managerial responsibilities, among other types of employees.

The FLSA states that commonly used exemptions in the workplace include:

  • Professional, executive, administrative and outside sales employees who are paid a salary are exempt from the FLSA's minimum wage and pay provisions.
  • The FLSA provides that some computer professionals who are compensated with an hourly rate of $27.63 per hour are exempt from overtime provisions
  • Drivers, loaders, driver's helpers, and mechanics have an exempt status from overtime pay provisions if they are employed by a motor carrier, and as the FLSA reports, if the worker's responsibilities affect safety in operating vehicles while transporting passengers, or property in foreign or interstate commerce.
  • Mechanics, salesmen and partsmen who are employed by auto dealerships are exempt from FLSA overtime provisions
  • Farmworkers who work on farms that are small are both exempt from the FLSA overtime and minimum wage compensation provisions. Young workers on small farms with consent from parents are also exempt from the FLSA child labor provisions.
  • Seasonal and recreational establishment workers have an exempt status from both the overtime pay and minimum wage provisions of the FLSA.
  • Commissioned sales employees of service or retail establishments are exempt from overtime if more than half of the employee's earnings come from commissions and the employee averages at lease one and one-half times the minimum wage for each hour worked.

The FLSA Adviser states that exemptions are narrowly interpreted by the Labor Commissioner, so employers should carefully analyze the terms and conditions of an exemption with the employee's actual duties, or consult an employment attorney, to ensure that the exemption is correctly classified, as the application of an exemption is the responsibility of the employer.

Fair Labor Standards Act Advisor: Exemptions, United States Department of Labor

Misclassification of Workers as "Independent Contractors" Rebuffed by the California Court of Appeal, California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR), Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, (DLSE)

Independent Contractor Versus Employee, California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR)

Related Web Resources:

California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR): The Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DSLE)