Photo of the attorneys of Costello, Mains and Silverman, LLC

Advocates for NJ and PA
Workers & Their Families

Partners and Counsel of Costello, Mains & Silverman, LLC
  1. Home
  2.  » 
  3. Wage & Hour Law
  4.  » What It Means To Be An Exempt vs. Non-Exempt Employee

Experienced FLSA Attorneys In New Jersey

The overtime rules laid out by the Fair Labor Standards Act apply to most workers. There are a few positions that are exempt from the overtime requirements of the FLSA. The question of who is entitled to overtime pay and who is not is fundamental to protecting the rights of workers. At Costello, Mains & Silverman, LLC, our FLSA lawyers protect all workers, exempt and nonexempt, from employment law violations. We can help you understand your rights and make sure your employer is not taking advantage of you. Call us at 866-944-3371 or contact us online to discuss your situation in a free case evaluation.

What Does It Mean To Be Exempt From Overtime Rules?

Exempt simply means that one or more provisions of the FLSA do not apply to you. There are several reasons why the FLSA might not apply to your job. When the act was passed, certain types of workers were purposefully excluded. The FLSA does not apply to certain types of agricultural workers, for example. In some cases, a different federal law governs worker rights in an industry. Most exempt employees are exempt based on their salary and job duties.

How Can You Tell If You Are Exempt?

First, you cannot take your employer’s word for it. Employers will classify almost any job as exempt if they think they can get away with it. Even if nothing about the job meets the definitions laid out by the FLSA, an employer may still try to classify it as exempt to save money.

While there are exceptions, employees are more likely to be exempt if they are paid a salary, rather than on an hourly basis, and are responsible for high-level job duties. The three categories of job duties that can be considered exempt are executive, professional and administrative. Each involves a fair bit of freedom and judgment in performing the role. It is also not enough to be given high-level job duties once or occasionally. Exempt employees must regularly perform work that requires discretion and independent judgment.

Contact Us

Determining whether an employee is exempt can be difficult. We can help you make that determination by analyzing your job responsibilities and the day-to-day realities of your working situation. Misclassification of workers as exempt is one of the most common ways employers cheat workers out of overtime pay. Our firm is committed to protecting employees and getting them the wages, including overtime, they deserve. Contact us today to discuss your employment law rights.