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Rights of exempt versus non-exempt employees

All employees in Florida deserve fair treatment and pay. However, the legal definition of fair treatment and pay can depend on whether an employee is exempt or non-exempt. These classifications determine whether your employer owes you certain overtime protections, including overtime pay.

The Fair Labor Standards Act, otherwise known as the FLSA, outlines many employee protections and entitlements. Knowing the difference between exempt and non-exempt employees is helpful.

Non-exempt employees

Most, but not all, hourly workers are non-exempt from FLSA overtime protections. This means that if you work extra hours, you’re entitled to payment. More than that, each hour you work overtime should earn you a higher hourly wage than usual.

When you work over 40 hours at your job, all hours past the first 40 merit overtime compensation. If your employer avoids paying you overtime for those hours, they’re breaking wage and hour law.

Non-exempt employees’ rights go beyond overtime protections. These workers are also entitled to minimum wage no matter how few hours they work.

Exempt employees

If you’re an exempt worker, your employer doesn’t owe you overtime pay. Most exempt employees are salaried, which means they’re guaranteed a certain amount of money regardless of how many hours they work. As long as they complete their duties, they will receive the agreed-upon salary. Sometimes, this salary won’t meet the minimum wage. Not all exempt employees earn a salary, though. The law outlines several job types that are typically classified as exempt:

  • Executives
  • Babysitters and domestic companions
  • Independent contractors
  • Administrators
  • Professionals
  • Computer workers
  • Outside sales workers

Regardless of your exempt or non-exempt status, it’s vital to know your rights. If you’re concerned that your employer has violated your rights, you might benefit from contacting an attorney with experience in wage and hour cases.

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