Classify an Employee Under the FLSA

Key Points

  • Classifying an employee as exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) allows an employer to have the employee work more than 40 hours in a workweek without paying overtime.
  • However, an employer that misclassifies an employee as exempt leaves itself vulnerable to lawsuits and US Department of Labor (DOL) investigations.
  • The single most important rule to remember when classifying an employee is that it is an employee's job duties, not job title, that matter.
  • The most commonly applied exemptions are for executives, administrators, professionals, computer employees and outside salespersons. There are several other more narrow exemptions.

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