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What should you know about exempt vs non-exempt employees?

While Idaho employees and employers may understand that non-exempt and exempt status affects the ability to collect overtime pay, they may not know that employers must meet certain guidelines for either category. Federal law determines whether your company may legally classify a job as exempt or non-exempt.

Exempt vs. non-exempt

Employment law for non-exempt employees guarantees protections under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Congress passed the FLSA in 1938, and the law governs the minimum wage and overtime requirements for non-exempt workers in the U.S. Employers do not have to follow the FLSA overtime or minimum wage for exempt employees.

Requirements for salaried exempt employment

While exempt employees do not receive protection under the FLSA for minimum wage or overtime pay, the federal government protects exempt workers with requirements for their classification. Employers must follow strict guidelines before labeling an employee’s position as exempt.

These guidelines include:

  • Workers must be paid at least $684 per week.
  • Employers must pay the salary on a consistent basis.
  • The work duties consistently require high-level skills and typically take place in an office setting.

Appropriate salaried exempt job duties

The FLSA requires exempt employees to perform certain tasks. The job title alone does not allow employers to meet this requirement. Instead, the majority of the job duties performed must meet one of the following types of skill sets:

  • Executive
  • Administrative
  • Professional
  • Computer
  • Outside sales

Hourly employees exemptions

While salaried employees comprise the majority of the FLSA exemptions, employers in certain industries may avoid having to follow minimum wage or overtime requirements. These industries typically include agriculture, railroad, and fishing.

Guidelines protect workers

The federal guidelines on exempt and non-exempt offer salary protection to workers. While employers may find the guidelines conflicting or complex, taking time to guarantee compliance may save companies from fines or jail time.