The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes different standards for overtime pay. It also imposes rules on minimum wages, child labor, and recordkeeping.

Under this law, employers are required to provide overtime pay to covered employees who have worked for more than 40 hours in a workweek. The amount to be given to these employees should be one and a half times of their regular rate of salary.

Knowing the Distinction between Exempt and Non-Exempt Employees

It should be noted that not all employees are entitled to overtime pay. In order to know whether an employer is required to give overtime pay, it should be first determined if he is covered by FLSA. In general, a company will be subjected to FLSA's rules if it earns at least $500,000 in annual sales.

Smaller companies will still be covered by this if they are engaged in interstate commerce, meaning they are conducting businesses between states.

Even if a company is covered by FLSA, an employee's eligibility for overtime pay will mainly depend on his position in the company. Employees who are allowed to receive overtime pay are called "non-exempt employees" while workers who are not entitled to it are known as "exempt employees."

White collar employees are usually exempted for overtime pay. In addition, workers who fall under the professional, executive, and administrative category are also not eligible for it.


Employees who are being paid on a "salary basis" are those who are getting at least $455 every week, regardless of the number of hours they have spent working or the quality of their output. Most of these employees are exempted from overtime pay.


Employees who are earning about $455 a week will also be exempted from overtime pay if they are performing a type of work that is supervisory or managerial in nature. In addition, they should also have an advance degree and their job must require them to make decisions that are crucial to the company's success.

To be more specific, here are some examples of employees who are exempted from overtime pay:

  • Criminal investigators
  • Seamen
  • Some computer specialists like software engineers, programmers, and systems analysts who are earning about $27.63 an hour
  • Some switchboard operators
  • Employees in seasonal recreational or amusement businesses like county fairs or ski resorts
  • Independent contractor
  • Outside salespeople
  • Newspaper deliverers
  • Small farm employees
  • Volunteers
  • Casual babysitters

For more information, consult an employment law attorney.