Who Are Overtime Exempt Employees?

by Karen Farnen; Updated September 26, 2017
Frustrated computer technician

Overtime exempt employees don't have the right to overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Most companies must abide by FLSA rules if they have two or more employees and generate more than $500,000 in annual revenue, or if their employees engage in interstate commerce. Some workers are exempt from the overtime rules because they aren't governed by the FLSA, including many theater workers, truck drivers, agricultural workers and railroad workers. Both salaried and hourly workers can be exempt under the FLSA.

Exempt Salaried Employees

The main category of employees who are exempt from overtime rules are salaried professional, executive and administrative workers who earn at least $455 per week. Outside sales workers are usually exempt as well, as are non-manual workers earning at least $100,000 per year.

Examples of salaried exempt employees include business managers, computer programmers, engineers, architects, clergy, accountants and registered nurses. Exempt professions often require advanced or graduate-level education.

Hourly Exempt

Some hourly employees are exempt from overtime rules because of the professional nature of their work. To qualify, they must make at least $27.63 per hour. For example, hourly computer professionals such as programmers and software engineers qualify as exempt if they earn at least the hourly minimum. On the other hand, hourly registered nurses are not exempt.

Some seasonal employees, such as those who work in recreational parks, are also exempt from overtime rules.

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