By On behalf of The Law Offices of Roderick V. Hannah, Esq., P.A.

You may have read the terms “exempt” and “nonexempt” employees in your workplace handbook — but what do those terms actually mean? An understanding of salary versus hourly pay is critical for those who are thinking about pursuing wage and hour claims against their employers. In some cases, employers intentionally fail to classify their workers in the appropriate category in order to exploit their workforce.

Nonexempt employees are those that must be paid minimum wage and overtime pay if they work longer than 40 hours in a work week. Nonexempt employees are legally entitled to 1.5 times their regular pay rate for every hour of overtime that is worked. These workers’ hours must be accurately recorded; there is no such thing as “off-the-clock” unpaid hours for this type of employee.

Exempt status is conferred upon those who are not entitled to overtime pay. Individuals are generally considered exempt if they are paid on a salary basis, they receive at least $455 per week and they perform job duties that make them exempt. These job duties generally involve supervisory or managerial roles. Federal guidelines allow workers to be exempt from overtime law if they supervise at least two other employees, occupy a position that is management-driven and can make decisions about hiring and firing. In other words, exempt employees are often considered “the boss.”

Employers throughout Florida and the rest of the nation often attempt to milk more work out of employees that should be categorized as nonexempt. These workers are sometimes classified as exempt, and they are then forced to work more than 40 hours per week without additional pay. These wage laws violations must not be permitted to continue. Workers deserve to be treated fairly and not denied overtime simply because of a malicious employer. Those who have been victimized by this type of dishonesty may be entitled to financial compensation and other damages.

Source: FindLaw, “Exempt Employees vs. Nonexempt Employees” Aug. 05, 2014