Understanding Overtime Exemptions Under the Fair Labor Standards Act

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Whether you are an employee or an employer, it is important that you understand the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This federal law regulates who is eligible to receive overtime. Garcia & Gurney, A Law Corporation has comprehensive knowledge about the FLSA and can advise you on your rights under this law. Additionally, if you are facing an employment law dispute arising from an alleged FLSA violation, our experienced employment attorneys can help you obtain a timely resolution.


Certain classes of employees are exempt from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Thus, it is vital that employers and employees carefully examine an employee’s specific duties before assuming that the employee is exempt from overtime. There are also exemption tests that must be met.

The following types of employees are commonly exempt:

  • Administrative, executive and professional employees: Job titles do not determine exemptions. For administrative, executive and professional employees to qualify for exemption, they must meet tests regarding their work responsibilities and must be paid on a salary basis of no less than $455 per week.
  • Commissioned sales employees: For a commissioned employee to be exempt, the employee must be employed by a retail or service establishment; the employee’s pay rate must exceed one and one-half times the applicable minimum wage for every hour worked in a workweek in which overtime hours are worked; and more than half the employee’s earnings in a representative period must be comprised of commissions.
  • Highly compensated employees: If an employee earns a minimum of $100,000 in annual base salary, non-discretionary bonuses and commissions, he or she is exempt from overtime requirements as long as he or she engages in one or more responsibilities of an exempt professional, administrative or executive employee.

We at Garcia & Gurney, A Law Corporation know that understanding the Fair Labor Standards Act can be difficult. The above list contains only a fraction of the requirements of the FLSA. For more information on the qualifications for employee exemption, seek assistance from a skilled employment law attorney at our office in Pleasanton.

Let experienced employment lawyers uphold your rights

In addition to protecting your rights, Garcia & Gurney, A Law Corporation is prepared to guide you through the detailed provisions of FLSA so you have a clear understanding of the law. For help with a labor and employment issue or other business law matter in and around Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, contact us today by phone at 925-468-0400 or online.