Does Overtime Law Apply To You?

Almost certainly, “Yes.” BUT there are a number of complicated exceptions within the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) called “exemptions.” Exemptions apply to certain occupations, job duties, and industries.

Even if the company you work for is required by the FLSA to pay overtime or minimum wage, some employees can be exempt from the FLSA, which means that employers do not have to pay either minimum wage, overtime, or both. Because many lawsuits have been filed and disputed over the question of whether or not an exemption applies in a given set of circumstances, we will not list every detail. There can be very strict definitions for each of the exemptions we have listed. Some employers abuse the exemptions by claiming that a particular exemption applies when it does not.

Employers may pay disabled workers less than minimum wage as long as they receive permission for the Department of Labor. The purpose of this exemption is to ensure that disabled people are given job opportunities.

Employers may pay full-time students employed in retail or service stores, agriculture, or colleges and universities less than minimum wage. The student must be paid at least 85% of the minimum wage and may not work more than 8 hours per day or more than 20 hours per week when school is in session and 40 hours when school is out. Employers must follow all applicable child labor laws and pay regular minimum wage after the student leaves school.

During the first three months on a job, employees under the age of 20 may be paid less than the minimum wage, but not less than $4.25/hour. Workers hired under this program may not replace other workers.

The FLSA does not apply to time spent serving in the National Guard or in the Military Reserves.

The FLSA does not require employers to give their employees time off for holidays, vacations, or sick leave – either with or without pay.

If your employer does allow such time off they do not have to pay you during that time, and if they do, these hours cannot be included as hours worked for overtime pay requirements.

In addition to the FLSA, there are some other federal laws that pertaining to employee entitlement to time off.

These include:

  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  • Davis-Bacon and Related Acts (DBRA)
  • McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act (SCA)
Under FLSA regulations, employers are not required to pay for “show-up time.” This is when your employer expects you to show up at a certain time, but after you arrive, you are sent home before you perform any work.

This time is not work time and you are not required by law to get paid for it.