Yes, salaried employees are entitled to overtime unless they are exempt. Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), nonexempt employees must receive overtime pay for hours worked over 40 per workweek at 1.5x their regular rate of pay.
Nevertheless, some salaried employees are exempt from overtime.
What Makes an Employee Exempt from Overtime?
In Tennessee, exempt employees make more than $684 per week ($35,568 per year) and meet the overtime duties test. Only “white collar” workers with executive, administrative, or professional duties are exempt from overtime requirements. Usually, this means exempt employees manage 2 or more employees and have hiring and firing power, run offices with authority and independent judgment, or work within an advanced field (such as science, learning, imagination, or invention).
If an employee earns more than $107,432 per year, they are considered a highly compensated employee, and they may not need to pass the overtime duties test – as long as they perform office or non-manual work and perform at least one duty or responsibility of an exempt administrative, executive, or professional employee.
Are There Any Employees Who Always Get Overtime?
Yes. Overtime exemptions do not apply to “blue-collar” workers or those who perform manual labor, nor do they apply to non-management employees in production, maintenance, construction, and similar occupations.
For example, an electrician working under an FLSA-covered employer would be entitled to minimum wage and overtime pay, even if they made more than $684 per week.
Overtime exemptions also do not apply to police officers, firefighters, paramedics, and other first responders.
Often, employees have misleading job titles. For instance, an employee who does not manage anyone might be called a “content manager.” Although this person may seem like someone with an executive exemption at first glance, they are still entitled to overtime.
Overtime exemptions depend on the duties an employee performs, so if your position does not pass both the salary test and the duties test, you should be getting overtime for hours worked over 40 hours per week.
What If I Am Nonexempt and Have Been Denied Overtime?
If you are an hourly nonexempt employee or a salary nonexempt employee who has been denied overtime, address the issue with your employer and/or human resources (HR) department immediately.
Make sure to conduct all communication over email and get your employer’s response(s) in writing. Ideally, your employer should fix the problem right away, including paying back wages if appropriate.
If not, you may need to speak to an employment lawyer about your rights and legal options.
Fortunately, you have already found Donati Law, PLLC. We have been serving clients like you for more than 35 years, and our mission is to improve lives – including yours.
If you would like to talk about your overtime claim, please call us at (901) 209-5500 or contact us online for prompt legal assistance.