One of the ways employers attempt to get around having to pay overtime is by misclassifying positions as being exempt from the overtime law.
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the general rule is that all employees are entitled one and one-half times their “regular rate” of pay for all hours over 40 in a workweek. But the law also provides for several exceptions to the rule. Certain categories of employees are exempted, or are not entitled to overtime pay, so an employer may try to put someone in the exempt class in order to save money. With few exceptions, to be exempt an employee must (a) be paid at least $23,600 per year ($455 per week), and (b) be paid on a salary basis, and also (c) perform exempt job duties. Some of the job duties which might exempt an employee from being owed overtime pay are: management and supervision of others; work requiring specialized and advanced education; personnel and office support. The definitions are not clearcut, however, so some employers attempt to stretch the limits, depriving employees of their rights by misclassifying their positions.