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Blog by:  Jeanne Hines, SPHR

Q:  How do you determine if an employee is “exempt” or “nonexempt,” and what does “exempt” mean?

A:  Exempt means 
that minimum wage and/or overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) do not apply. Typically, white-collar workers, those who perform professional, managerial or administrative work, are exempt.

“Learned professionals” (ex.: teachers, doctors, lawyers, etc.) are exempt, while a cashier at a fast food restaurant is not. The “salary basis” test is a good way to figure out who is exempt and who is not. If an employee earns at least $455 per week with no deductions for quantity or quality of work, he or she is considered a learned professional, and is exempt.

The FLSA does not apply to non-covered workers. Some non-covered workers include independent contractors, prisoners and elected officials. Exempt employees differ in that they are covered by the FLSA, but certain parts of the act do not apply to them. 
Posted 2:32 PM  View Comments

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