Determining Exempt Status

The FLSA provides that overtime pay is not paid to an employee who is employed in an executive, administrative, or professional capacity. To determine whether or not an employee falls within one of these "white collar" exemptions, the employer must consider both a "salary test" and a "duties test." The salary test states that to be classified as an executive, administrator, or a professional, this employee receives a pre-determined salary for any workweek regardless of the days or hours the employee actually worked. The "duties test" looks at the nature of the job. Does the employee's "primary duty" require him or her to spend at least 50% of job time on professional duties that are considered essential and of prime importance? Is the employee required to exercise discretion and independent judgment in making significant decisions without administrative approval?

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