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Overtime Pay and the FLSA: What is the Salary Test?


Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) many employees are entitled to overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours in a week. Though, overtime regulations do not apply to every employee. Salaried workers may be exempted from part of the law. There are strict rules and regulations governing overtime exemptions.

In order to be properly classified as an overtime exempt employee, a worker must meet certain criteria, one of the most important being the minimum salary threshold. Here, our West Palm Beach employment lawyers provide an overview of the ‘salary test’ and explain the implications for overtime regulations. 

Current Minimum Salary Floor: $648 Per Week 

On January 1st, 2020, the Department of Labor (DOL) officially raised the FLSA salary floor. In order to be classified as an overtime exempt worker, an employee must earn at least $648 per week or $35,568 per year. A significant increase from previous years, these are numbers that should be used by employers when applying the salary test going forward. To classify a worker as overtime exempt, they must make at least this much money. Employees who do not meet the minimum salary threshold:

  1. Should be paid at an overtime rate of (1.5x) when working more than 40 hours per week; or
  2. Should receive a raise that brings them above the minimum salary threshold.

Employees who do not satisfy the salary test and who have been classified as “overtime exempt” may be misclassified for the purposes of federal law—meaning they may be entitled to financial compensation for unpaid overtime.

The Salary Test is a Necessary But Not Sufficient Condition 

Some employers wrongly assume that they can exempt workers from FLSA overtime regulations simply based on their rate of pay. This is false. Employees who do not meet the minimum salary threshold must be offered overtime pay for hours beyond 40 in a week. Workers who do meet the salary floor are not necessarily exempt from overtime regulations. Quite the contrary, workers paid more than $648 per week can only be exempt from FLSA overtime regulations if they fit into one of the following five job categories:

  1. Executive/management;
  2. Administration;
  3. Knowledge economy professionals;
  4. Computed-related professionals; or
  5. Outside sales people.

Overtime misclassification can cause major problems for both companies and workers. For employees, being misclassified results in the unfair denial of overtime pay. For employers, misclassification could lead to significant legal and financial liability down the road. If you have questions about FLSA overtime regulations, our law firm is here to offer guidance. 

Call Our Florida Overtime Lawyers for Immediate Help

At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Florida wage and hour attorneys have experience representing both employers and employees. If you have questions or concerns about the FLSA’s salary test, we will get you answers. To arrange a confidential, no obligation consultation with an experienced FLSA lawyer, please call us today. We have offices in West Palm Beach, Wellington and Miami, we handle overtime claims throughout the entire region.


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