The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes overtime laws and exemptions throughout the nation. Under the FLSA laws, any non-exempt employee who works over 40 hours per week is entitled to time and a half pay for overtime hours.
Some employees are exempt from overtime pay provisions, but the FLSA narrowly defines these exemptions. Understanding who is exempt from overtime provisions can help you know more about your rights as a Texas employee and decide if your situation calls for an Austin overtime exemption lawyer and necessary legal action against your employer.
Exemptions from Overtime Pay in Texas
The FLSA describes many types of exemptions from overtime pay. Certain types of employees – or those in certain industries – are exempt from overtime provisions by law. These exemptions include:
- Executives and Managers
- Certain Administrative Workers
- Commissioned employees of certain retail or service establishments
- Railroad conductors, air carriers, taxi drivers, seamen, and delivery employees paid on trip rate plans
- Announcers, news editors, and chief employees of certain broadcasting stations
- Domestic service workers living in-residence
- Motion picture theater employees
- Employees of certain seasonal amusement establishments
- Certain teachers and academic administrators
- Certain Professionals
Each of these exemptions has more specific provisions behind it for the FLSA to consider it an exemption. To have a solid case against your employer for failing to pay overtime, your employment must not follow any of the above-outlined professions. If you’re unsure whether your employment falls under an exemption from the FLSA laws, contact a local Austin employment lawyer to find out.
Common Employer Overtime Violations
As an employee, realize that just because your employer tells you you’re exempt from overtime pay doesn’t mean it’s true. Many employers fail to properly classify their employees and therefore unintentionally break federal overtime pay laws. Contact an Austin overtime exemption attorney near you to find out if your employer has improperly classified you as exempt.
Employers may also intentionally break the FLSA laws to avoid paying employees overtime – especially when employees don’t understand the intricacies of overtime law. An employer might ignore bonuses or incentive pay for specific shifts, such as doubles or night shifts. An employer could also fail to pay an employee for job-related travel time, including overnight stays and weekend travel.
Other common overtime violations include an employer who pays employees “under the table” and therefore believes lack of records make overtime pay unnecessary. An employer might not pay for lunch breaks an employee spent working or will deduct short breaks from the hours the employee worked. More blatant examples include employers who simply fail to include overtime on a paycheck altogether, believing an employee won’t notice or won’t have the courage to say anything.
Many employers intentionally avoid paying overtime because they know that most employees don’t take the time to double-check paycheck stubs or calculate how much they should have received. Other employers might threaten retaliation for speaking up about overtime mistakes, such as employment termination or docked hours.
Consult an Austin Overtime Exemption Lawyer Today
If you notice your employer has failed to pay you overtime when he or she reasonably should have, consult with your employer about it if possible. Ask your employer the reason for failing to pay overtime. If the employer tells you it’s because you’re exempt from overtime pay according to the FLSA, consult a lawyer to confirm the information.
Since the FLSA exemptions are complex and have several provisions, only an employment lawyer can tell you for sure whether or not you’re exempt. Looking up exemptions online won’t give you an accurate answer. Contact Ross • Scalise Employment Lawyers to find out if you’re exempt from overtime pay, and take legal action against employers who unlawfully fail to pay overtime.