Oftentimes, it is a common problem for an employer to distinguish which of his employees can work overtime and which cannot. This is because employees are often seen as equal. However, under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employees are divided into two categories: exempt and non-exempt employees.

Basically, the difference between the two types of employees is their mode of salary. Employees who are non-exempt from overtime work are paid hourly while exempted employees obtain work wages in a fixed amount. However, because of certain changes in the employment industry, another factor is considered – work responsibilities and tasks.

Here is a simple comparison of the tasks of an exempt and a non-exempt employee:

  • Exempt employees – An exempt employee is a worker that is "exempted" from working overtime. There are different kinds of workers classified as exempt employees. These are:
  1. Executive employees – An executive employee usually has two or more subordinates. He is in-charge of certain tasks such as planning, interviewing, and appraisal of company operations.
  2. Administrative employees – This kind of employees handle non-manual work, and manage a certain group of employees or a certain department of the company. One common example of an administrative employee is a human resource employee.
  3. Professionals – When an employee has a high educational attainment and passed a specific registered exam on the same field, he may be considered a professional. Aside from education, skill is another factor that qualifies a person to become a professional.
  4. Creative employees – Workers who create from scratch and produce outputs out of their own imagination are included in this group.

  • Non-exempt employees – The tasks and responsibilities of this group are usually routines which have certain rules and regulations. For instance, a worker who works in the factory creating jeans or shirts is considered a non-exempt employee because he repeats his work, guided by certain rules on tailoring.

When an employee works overtime, he has to be paid by one and a half times his regular wage per hour. Aside from this privilege, employers should also provide non-exempt employees certain benefits.

One thing that an employer needs to remember is to provide wages that satisfy federal minimum wage requirements. Employers should be aware of this issue to avoid any problems at work. If they committed an overtime violation, they may be required to pay compensatory damages as well as unpaid overtime fees. If you are an employer and you want to know more about overtime laws and violations, you can consult an Los Angeles Employment Lawyer.