Am I exempt or non-exempt?

UPDATED: Nov 4, 2010

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Am I exempt or non-exempt?

I’m employed by a company that gives piano lessons at public schools. I get paid per class. The duties that I don’t get paid for are giving reminder calls to parents(on my personal phone), doing paperwork and emails (at home), driving to and from the schools ($5 bonus if over 20 miles away),and setting up and breaking down the classroom. I’ve been to two meetings I haven’t gotten paid for, not to mention the 3 days of training which were called an “audition”. The job was advertised as hourly, but what is it really? And how much of it is legal?

Asked on November 4, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Arizona


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

You are almost certianly a nonexempt employee, since you do not appear to meet the main exemptions: executive, administrative, professional. For more on those exemptions and what qualifies someone, go the Dept. of Labor website and look under "wage and hour," then "overtime." Note that to be exempt, your duties must be exempt and you must also be paid on a salary basis.

If you are nonexempt, you should be paid for all work done, onsite or offsite, including mandatory meetings and training time. (One caveat: if the training was prior to getting the job and was a condition to possibly being employed, it may be the case--depending on exact circumstances--that you did not need to be paid for it, especially if you knew in advance it was unpaid.) The only thing you don't need to be paid for is communting time to a principal or regular place of business (e.g. an office).

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