How do I now if I’m an exempt salaried employee or a non-exempt salaried employee?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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How do I now if I’m an exempt salaried employee or a non-exempt salaried employee?

I am paid a low salary of $300 gross per week plus a fluctuating bonus once a month which is based on gross profit. I work between 46-52 hours per week as a warehouse manager for a private company. What’s more, ther are 8 other employees in my department that have the same base salary with monthly bonus pay plan. The only difference in wages comes down to varying percentages of the gross profit. That percentage is the only raise given, not weekly. What is the minimum threshold of my salary to be? Am I considered exempt? My understanding is that there is a minimum salary set by the US government but for whom? I am confused as to in which category

I belong as well as the set standards of wages. Can you help me understand?

Asked on October 25, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Indiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

To be exempt, you must earn a minimum salary of at least $455/week. A bonus would not count for this purpose, since a salaried is a guaranteed amount, not based on profit and not fluctuating. If you are only salaried at $300 per week, you are not exempt and are entitled to overtime when you work more than 40 hours per week. To estimate what your overtime should be, divide your weekly gross salary by 40 hours to get an effective hourly salary, which in your case would be $7.50 per hour. Each hour in a week you work more then 40 hours, for each over over 40, you would get an extra 50% of that, or $3.75.
Your employer could correct this by reducing the bonus (or eliminating it) and increasing your base salary to at least $455; the issue is not your total earnings, but that the salary component must be at least $455/week. But until they do so (if they do so), and for all periods up to when they do, you should earn overtime. If you have been woring 45-52 hours/week, on average, you should have been getting around 8 - 9 hours (average) of overtime per week, or around an extra $30 - $32/week. Contact the department of labor about filing an overtime complaint: you may be entitled to back overtime for up to the last 2 years, which is potentially $1,500+, plus being eligible for overtime going forward.

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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