Monday, June 16, 2008

"My employer doesn't pay me overtime dahil exempt employee daw ako. What does this mean?"

Employees who get overtime pay and whose time worked are recorded as mandated by the Fair Labor Standards Act (a federal law that protects overtime rights, among others) regulations are considered non-exempt. Employees who have an exempt FLSA regulations status are not covered by the overtime and record-keeping requirements of the Act. The Department of Labor considers all employees subject to overtime and minimum wage requirements unless their positions have been specifically determined to be exempt.

Binabayaran ka ba ng not less than $455 per week (or $23,660 annually), or if you work in a computer-work category, at least $27.63 per hour? The salary criteria is one of the things that determine if you are exempt, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Exemption is also based on an evaluation of the employee's duties and responsibilities, which may offer an exemption if you are in executive, administrative, professional, or in certain computer-related occupations. Read this comprehensive webpage that details the exempt-employee qualifications.

When I was new in the U.S., unfortunately, I had a boss who placed me and others in this exempt category presumably so that we won't get paid overtime, which, of course, she required on a regular basis. What a rhymes-with-witch. Ultimately, companies that employ people like her lose out because employees who wise up to such backhanded tactics leave the company, or if they can't, they become so frustrated that they turn in lackluster work.

Unfortunately, there are people like my former boss working among us. One of whom might be your boss. BUT don't jump into conclusions until you've reviewed if you really are an exempt employee. First of all, sinabihan ka ba that you are an exempt employee when you started? Usually, we sign a job descriptions page when we start a new job.

All criteria (including salary & job description) for the specified exemption must be met simultaneously to qualify for the exemption. If your job doesn't fit the criteria and you're still not getting overtime pay, maybe you can let your HR manager know that you know the rule. If nothing happens and you want to get more information, here's the Department of Labor contact info: 1-866-487-9243 or go to their website. Good luck!

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