How has the law regarding overtime compensation changed for exempt employees?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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How has the law regarding overtime compensation changed for exempt employees?

I am employed in New York state, Jefferson County. I have been considered an
exempt professional, working in environmental education, outreach and
administration as the only employee of a small non-profit organization. My
current salary is 42,000 with a benefit allowance of 6,000 appx 4800 in
employer paid insurance, 1200 in an HRA for allowable medical expenses and
500 annually for cell phone reimbursement. I’m not sure how the law has
changed, so I’m hoping you can provide me with some general information as well
addressing some specifics.
– Is my position still considered an exempt position?
– If yes, then what are the rules governing time worked, both over and under 40
If no, then
– Is overtime considered to have occurred when over 40 hours/pay week, or over
80 hours/pay period?
– Can one receive compensatory time in lieu of overtime pay and if so, must
that time be awarded at the same rate as pay, which I assume to be time and a
– Can time be flexed hour for hour to compensate for hours required outside of
a ‘normal’ schedule? And, must that flex occur within the pay week or period?

Thanks so much for your help.

Asked on January 27, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

1) There have been no changes; proposed increases in the amount of salary to be exempt from overtime were not enacted.
2) Based on your salary, if your job duties and authority meet one or more of the tests for exemption found on the U.S. Dept. of Labor website (under "overtime"), such as the adminstrative employee, professional employee, or executive tests, then you are exempt from overtime. If you job does not meet one or more or the tests, you are not exempt.
3) If you are exempt, it does not matter how many hours you work--all you get is your base salary. If not exempt, you get an overtime premium for all time worked past 40 hours in a single workweek--overtime is per week, not pay period.
4) Certain government employees or union employees with a collective bargaining contract can get comp time instead of overtime; all others must get overtime if not exempt.
5) Overtime ignores flex time in that it's based solely on hours actually "worked": if you actually work more than 40 hours in a week and are not exempt, you get overtime, regardless of when you worked those hours during the week.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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