FLSA exemptions and Salaried employees
The Fair Labor Standards Act is a federal law that establishes requirements for overtime and minimum wages. Georgia employers must comply with this law. This statute can be quite complex and nuanced, making employers uncertain about how to comply. This is why it is a good idea to consult a Georgia employment attorney for help complying with this law. The Fair Labor Standards Act has changed somewhat over the years and continues to evolve with the changes in the economy and the jobs workers perform.
To comply with the FLSA, Georgia employers must first determine if an employee is exempt or non-exempt. An exempt employee is one who is not entitled to overtime pay, whereas non-exempt employees must be paid overtime pay when they work overtime (usually more than forty hours in a week). Contrary to what many employers and workers alike assume, the employer and the employee cannot simply agree that the worker is exempt and can be paid a salary with no overtime pay. Whether an employee is properly exempt under the FLSA is usually determined by evaluating the salary paid and the actual duties of the employee. To be exempt, an employee usually needs to meet both the salary basis test and the duties test. Continue reading to learn more about FLSA regulations and employee classification in the state of Georgia.
Classification of Non-exempt and Exempt Employees
FLSA regulations cover the classification of non-exempt and exempt employees. Employers must use several criteria to determine if an employee is an exempt employee. :
The employee earns a minimum of $35,568 annually or $684 weekly
The payment for the salary is provided on a regular basis and the salary amount is fixed and it is proportionate to the employee’s annual salary. This amount remains the same no matter how many hours the employee works.
The primary duty of the employee falls within the Executive, Administrative, Professional, or other exemption.
What Is The Overtime Rule According to the Fair Labor Standards Act?
As a Georgia employment attorney would tell you, the Fair Labor Standards Act establishes overtime requirements for Georgia employers. According to this law, Georgia employers are required to pay non-exempt employees a minimum of time and a half their standard rate of pay for every hour over 40 hours in a single workweek. The majority of non-exempt employees are paid hourly.
However, if an employer does not pay a non-exempt employee hourly, the hourly rate is calculated by dividing the total pay earned by the total amount of hours the non-exempt employee worked that week. You should generally not include sick days, unworked holidays, or vacations. Only actual work hours count for overtime purposes.
Hourly Pay and Salary Under the Fair Labor Standards Act
In Georgia employment law, you should understand that an employee’s pay (salary, hourly, daily, per piece, commission, etc.) is not the only factor in determining exemption status. That being said, how an employee is paid can significantly impact the timekeeping requirements and policies of their workplace. If an employer has employees who are non-exempt, they must track employee attendance and the hours that they work. Without accurate time records, it is impossible to properly determine the amount of overtime pay, if any, that is owed.
This is all part of making sure that the company’s payroll is accurate. On the contrary, it is less important to track employee hours if the employees are paid a salary and exempt. A common problem arises however when the employer has misclassified the employee as exempt. According to the U.S. Department of Labor under the FLSA that the employee should have been paid overtime. This can become costly to the employer, which is why properly classifying employees is so important to most Georgia employers.
What Is the Punishment for Misclassification of Employees?
If you are an employer and you misclassify your employees, you could face serious consequences. That is why it is so crucial to properly classify your employees. A few potential consequences of the misclassification of employees are as follows:
- Penalties and fines from the U.S. Department of Labor
- Payment of owed overtime wages and liquidated damages
- Legal and other expenses to resolve misclassification of employees
- Lawsuits filed by employees due to unpaid overtime
- Taxes owed to both the federal and state governments
Contact us for Legal Consultation about Classifying Employees
You should reach out to our law firm if you need assistance with classifying employees in the state of Georgia. DeLong, Caldwell, Bridgers, Fitzpatrick, & Benjamin is the premier labor and employment law firm in the state of Georgia. We can provide you with all the legal assistance and advice you need so you can make sure you follow all the requirements for classifying your employees in Georgia. Visit our website or call us at (470) 443-0524 today so we can provide top-notch legal assistance to you.