When Can an Employee Be Declared Exempt from Overtime Pay?/

Some employees are excluded from the overtime pay provisions or both the minimum wage and overtime pay provisions by specific exemptions. Because exemptions are generally narrowly defined under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), an employer should carefully check the exact terms and conditions for each. An overtime pay lawyer can help you understand the FLSA requirements.

Below are examples to help you understand types of exemptions, but they do not spell out the conditions for each exemption.

Exemptions from Both Minimum Wage and Overtime Pay

Positions that are exempt from being paid minimum wage or overtime wages include:


  • Executive, administrative and professional employees
  • Outside sales persons, and persons in certain computer-related occupations
  • Employees of certain seasonal amusement or recreational establishments
  • Employees of certain small newspapers
  • Switchboard operators of small telephone companies
  • Seamen employed on foreign vessels, and employees engaged in fishing operations
  • Farm workers employed by anyone who used no more than 500 man-days of farm labor in any calendar quarter of the preceding calendar year
  • Casual babysitters
  • Persons employed as companions to the elderly or infirm. (wheelchair? Or person pushing one?)

Exemptions from Overtime Pay Provisions Only

Some positions are exempt from only overtime pay. They include:


  • Certain highly paid commissioned employees of retail or service establishments; auto, truck, trailer, farm implement, boat or aircraft sales workers, or parts-clerks and mechanics servicing autos, trucks or farm implements, and who are employed by non-manufacturing establishments primarily engaged in selling these items to ultimate purchasers;
  • Employees of railroads and air carriers, taxi drivers, certain employees of motor carriers, seamen on American vessels and local delivery employees paid on approved trip rate plans;
  • Announcers, news editors and chief engineers of certain non-metropolitan broadcasting stations;
  • Domestic-service workers residing in the employers’ residences;
  • Employees of motion picture theaters; and
  • Farmworkers.

Partial Exemptions from Overtime Pay

In some circumstances, employees are partially exempt from receiving overtime wages. Those include:

Partial overtime pay exemptions apply to employees engaged in certain operations on agricultural commodities and employees of certain bulk petroleum distributors.

Hospitals and residential care establishments may adopt, by agreement with their employees, a 14-day work period in lieu of the usual seven-day workweek, if the employees are paid at least time and one-half their regular rates for hours worked over eight in a day or 80 in a 14-day work period, whichever is the greater number of overtime hours.

Employees who lack a high school diploma, or who have not attained the educational level of the 8th grade, can be required to spend up to 10 hours in a workweek engaged in remedial reading or training in other basic skills without receiving time and one-half overtime pay for these hours. However, the employees must receive their normal wages for hours spent in such training and the training must not be job-specific.

Child Labor Provisions

The FLSA child labor provisions are designed to protect the educational opportunities of minors and prohibit their employment in jobs and under conditions detrimental to their health or well-being. The provisions include restrictions on hours of work for minors under 16 and lists of hazardous occupations’ orders for both farm and non-farm jobs declared by the Secretary of Labor as being too dangerous for minors to perform.

Are You Exempt from Overtime Pay?

The exemption provisions are complex and vary by type of position, so you may need help to understand your status. Our overtime pay attorneys at Feldman Williams, PLLC can provide you a free assessment of your overtime pay status. If you are wrongly denied overtime pay, you may have a case.

Employer Record Keeping

The FLSA requires employers to keep records on wages, hours and other items, as specified in Department of Labor record-keeping regulations. Most of the information is of the kind generally maintained by employers in ordinary business practice and in compliance with other laws and regulations. The records do not have to be kept in any particular form and time clocks need not be used.

What Records Should Be Kept?

With respect to an employee subject to both minimum wage and overtime pay provisions, the following records must be kept:

  • Personal information, including employee’s name, home address, occupation, sex and birth date (if under 19 years of age);
  • Hour and day when workweek begins;
  • Total hours worked each workday and each workweek;
  • Total daily or weekly straight-time earnings;
  • Regular hourly pay rate for any week when overtime is worked;
  • Total overtime pay for the workweek;
  • Deductions from or additions to wages;
  • Total wages paid each pay period; and
  • Date of payment and pay period covered.
  • Records required for exempt employees differ from those for nonexempt workers, and special information is required for homeworkers, for employees working under uncommon pay arrangements, for employees to whom lodging or other facilities are furnished or for employees receiving remedial education.

How FLSA Defines Workweek and Hours

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has specific definition of these two core concepts associated with wages and overtime pay.

A workweek is a period of 168 hours during seven consecutive 24-hour periods. It may begin on any day of the week and any hour of the day established by the employer. Generally, for purposes of minimum wage and overtime payment, each workweek stands alone; there can be no averaging of two or more workweeks. Employee coverage, compliance with wage payment requirements and the application of most exemptions are determined on a workweek basis.

Hours Worked

Covered employees must be paid for all hours worked in a workweek. In general, hours worked includes all time an employee must be on duty, or on the employer’s premises or at any other prescribed place of work. Also included is any additional time the employee is suffered or permitted to work.

Have Questions? Talk to a Florida Overtime Pay Exemption Attorney

If you have questions about whether you are or are not exempt from receiving overtime wages, contact the Florida overtime pay exemption lawyers at Feldman Williams, PLLC. We provide a free assessment of your case. If you were unlawfully denied overtime pay because you were misclassified or otherwise incorrectly declared exempt, we will protect your rights. Talk to our employment law attorneys today.