Exemptions From Overtime

There are other categories of work that are designated as being exempt from the overtime provisions specific to the FLSA:

  • The job of seaman is exempt from the FLSA overtime regulations. Even though the FLSA does not itself define the term of seaman, the Department of Labor does. A person who spends a "substantial" part of the workweek, which involves more than twenty per cent of time, in performing seaman work, is qualified to be called a seaman. Therefore, an individual who spends a substantial portion of work time loading and unloading products would not qualify as a "seaman."
  • Overtime provisions do not apply to an employee whose qualifications and maximum hours of service are determined by the Secretary of Transportation, as with a motor carrier.
  • Public agency employees who engage in fire protection activities are exempt from the FLSA overtime requirements. In regard to EMS employees, the Fifth Circuit designated that EMS employees for the City of Houston Fire Department did not fall within this exemption.
  • An employee who is a sales person, parts man, or mechanic primarily engaged in the selling or servicing of automobiles is exempt from overtime requirements. Finance managers or contractors are not exempt because their primary tasks do not involve selling automobiles.
  • This exemption also applies to any employee who works as an air carrier and whose job is subject to the provisions of title II of the Railway Labor Act.
  • Employees who work in a retail or service establishment are exempt. This provision is contingent upon whether the employee's regular rate of pay exceeds one-and-a-half times the minimum wage and that no more than one-half of his or her compensation comes from commissions on goods and services over a representative period of time. The minimum time here is not less than a month.

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