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March 03, 2010
Determining Whether an Employee is Exempt from Overtime

In her BLR webinar “Job Descriptions: How to Tackle Tricky Drafting Hurdles to Maximize Compliance and Effectiveness,” Olivia Goodkin , partner at Rutter Hobbs & Davidoff, details the considerations employers must make when evaluating whether an employee is legally entitled to overtime pay.

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  • Under federal law (Fair Labor Standards Act), most employees in the United States must be paid overtime pay at time and one-half the regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek.
  • Job descriptions include duties that clarify whether a position is exempt from overtime laws.
  • There are five categories of exempt employees: administrative, executive, professional, outside salespersons and certain computer workers. To qualify for the exemption, employees generally must meet certain tests regarding their job duties and be paid on a salary basis at not less than $455 per week.
  • Job titles do not determine exempt status; an employee’s specific job duties and salary must meet all the requirements of the state’s regulations.

Olivia Goodkin, Esq. is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Rutter Hobbs & Davidoff where she specializes in liability avoidance and employment-related litigation. She can be reached via email at mogoodkin@rutterhobbs.com.

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