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Salaried Exempt in Mississippi

Posted by Tamara

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), a federal law, mandates that employees who work more than 40 hours on one work week are entitled to overtime pay. The rate for overtime is 1.5 times the employee’s usual hourly rate. There are occupations that are exempt from overtime, including salaried employees.

For this reason Mississippi employers usually assume that a salaried employee is ineligible for overtime pay.

FLSA, however, doesn’t exempt all salaried employees from overtime. Instead, they classify these workers into two groups: salaried exempt (ineligible for overtime) and salaried non-exempt (eligible for overtime for over 40 hours or work in one week.)

Determining which salaried employees are exempt and which are not can be difficult. More than one factor is involved in the classification, which can be confusing. There are, however, general guidelines for employers to follow.

The first cutoff point for being considered salaried exempt is weekly earnings. An employee who makes less than $455 per week, regardless of his or her occupation, is always eligible for overtime. Those who make over $455 per week are exempt or non-exempt depending on their occupations.

The FLSA allows employers to exempt certain occupations from overtime. These occupations include, executives, professionals with advanced degrees, outside salespeople, highly-paid computer personnel, administrative employees and workers who earn over $100,000 per year for non-manual labor.

Within these occupations, there are further definitions and guidelines:

  • Executives must manage the duties of more than two other people. Giving someone the title of “manager” doesn’t immediately place them into the executive category.
  • Professionals with advanced degrees have advanced knowledge, such as emergency room physicians. Creative professionals, like artists and sculptors, also fall into this category
  • Administrative employees can be considered exempt only if they have the power to exercise their own judgment in important decisions. For example the executive assistant who chooses which vendors to use for purchasing office supplies would be salary exempt.

Some states have established their own overtime laws. It is possible for an employee to be exempt under federal law, but eligible under state law.


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