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The difference between exempt and nonexempt employees (PART 1)

The way an employee is classified is very important to how he or she gets paid. You may trust that your employer has classified your job correctly, but it is always important to check. Without even knowing it, you may be entitled to overtime pay and may not be receiving it due to a wrong classification.

Your job may be classified as exempt or nonexempt under the rules of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Keep in mind, some jobs are not governed by this act, such as some types of agricultural employees. Some other types of jobs are also excluded from this act because they are governed by other laws.

So what is the difference between exempt and nonexempt? Let's first discuss nonexempt employees. It's important to know that many employees, especially those that work an hourly wage, are considered nonexempt. These employees must be paid at least the minimum wage and they must also be paid overtime. Overtime pay is given when an employee works more than 40 hours in one week. By FLSA rules, they should be paid time and a half of their regular hourly pay for each overtime hour. Employees who feel they should be getting overtime pay but aren't may file a claim with the U.S. Department of Labor. It may also be helpful to discuss your case with an attorney who is experienced in employment law.

In our next post we will talk about the other classification known as exempt. Many employees in our state fall under this classification.

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