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Salaried Exempt in Texas

Posted by Tamara

Many Texas employers have asked if salaried employees are eligible for overtime.

The answer to this question is yes and no. Eligibility for overtime is determined by the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act). This federal law mandates that employees who work more than 40 hours in one work week are entitled to be paid 1.5 times their usual hourly rate, or overtime pay. Exceptions to the rule are some salaried employees. FLSA classifies them as either salaried exempt or salaried non-exempt.

Determining whether an employee is salaried exempt or salaried non-exempt involves many different factors. The FLSA provides some general guidelines that can assist in making this determination.

First, FLSA mandates that all salaried employees who earn less than $455 per week must be paid overtime, regardless of their occupations. Employees earning over $455 per week are classified as exempt or non-exempt according to their occupation and specific duties.

For example, executives are exempt from overtime, but only if they are responsible for managing the work of two or more other employees. Just being a “manager” doesn’t automatically make the employee salaried exempt.

Professionals with advanced degrees and creative professionals are considered exempt. This would include pharmacists, physicians, and sculptors and artists.

Highly paid system analysts, software engineers, programmers and other computer professionals are exempt from overtime. Outside salespeople and employees who earn over $100,000 per year for non-manual labor are ineligible for overtime pay.

Certain administrative employees can be classified as salaried exempt if they are in a position to make decisions that have significant impact on the company. For example, an administrative employee who oversees the purchase of supplies and has the power to choose which vendors to use would be exempt from overtime. In contrast, the administrative employee who calls the vendors to place the orders is non-exempt, and therefore entitled to overtime pay.

These guidelines apply to the federal law, but some states have established their own overtime laws. It is possible for an employee to be exempt from overtime under federal law and still be entitled to overtime under the state law.


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