Not All Salaried Employees Are Exempt

Haliburton must pay $18 million to resolve a Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) claim for a mistake that is considered the number one thing employers should not do when compensating salaried employees. According to recent employment law news, the company automatically declared all salaried employees “exempt” from overtime, without considering duties or income at all. Treating all employees similarly without looking at variations in pay and job responsibilities is a very common mistake employers make and is often a violation of federal labor law.

Pursuant to the FLSA, whether a worker is considered exempt vs. non-exempt can make a large difference in an employee’s take-home pay. Non-exempt workers are entitled to receive overtime compensation at a rate of one and one-half their standard hourly pay for all time worked in excess of 40 hours in any one workweek. Alternatively, workers who are exempt are not entitled to receive overtime pay, regardless of how many hours they work.

However, in order to determine whether an employee is exempt, the employer must first determine whether they meet the “salary basis” test – i.e., the minimum salary threshold for being considered exempt (currently $455/week) – and whether their job duties fit within one of the enumerated exemptions: professional, administrative, or executive. Broadly classifying all workers as exempt fails to properly evaluate each of these factors.

According to reports, Halliburton improperly categorized 28 positions as exempt from overtime, requiring them to pay 1,016 workers back pay and overtime.

For more information, or if you believe you have been misclassified and improperly denied overtime pay, please contact the knowledgeable Georgia overtime pay lawyers at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP for an immediate case evaluation.