Employees who work for more than 40 hours per week must be aware whether they are exempt or non-exempt employees under the overtime law. An exempt employee is not legally required to receive overtime pay whereas a non-exempt employee is legally required to be paid a premium for their overtime hours. In order to find out whether a particular employee is a victim of wrongly denied overtime pay, it is necessary to get familiar with Texas labor laws.
What do Texas labor laws say?
Texas labor laws on overtime follow federal law. Overtime eligibility is determined by how much a worker is paid, how he is paid and what his job responsibilities are. Generally, workers who are not paid at least 455 dollars per week by way of “salary” and do not meet one of the exemptions provided by law can claim overtime pay. The following are three of the most common exemptions from the overtime wage laws:
Administrative employees are those who perform non-manual or office work. They must also exercise discretion and individual judgment in important business matters. For example, planners and department store buyers are often properly classified as administrative employees.
Though clerical work is considered “administrative”, tasks like filing, gathering reports, answering phone calls and making travel plans are not considered high level tasks. Hence, secretaries performing these duties do not meet the administrative exemption. Besides this, the level of judgment exercised by secretaries must be compared to the importance of the entire business. For example, choosing supplies for the office is not very important to the overall operation of the business when compared with other jobs in the company. As a result, such a decision making power is not considered sufficient discretionary power for the purpose of an exemption from the overtime wage laws.
In order to be labeled as an executive employee, the worker must supervise a minimum of two full-time employees (must be employees and not contractors working for another company). Also, he/she must have the management power over the organization or a particular unit of the business. Moreover, he/she must have the power to hire and fire employees, or at least have significant input into such decisions.
If a manager and an assistant manager are both on duty simultaneously, the manager is supposed to be the person in charge. In such a case, the assistant manager can become eligible for overtime pay, if he/she is working for more than 40 hours per week, as he/she is not really supervising any other employees.
Professional employees are those who possess specialized academic degree in their field. A person whose job demands imagination and originality also come in the category of professional employees. Doctors, lawyers and teachers are examples of professional employees.
In addition to the above three exemptions, employees occupied in outside sales (sales made away from the workplace) are not eligible for overtime pay.
Getting familiar with Texas labor laws is essential to avoid becoming a victim of wrongly denied overtime pay. Read up on labor laws in Texas that cover fair labor practices; be informed about overtime pay and seek unpaid overtime that is due from employers who fail to follow the law and pay proper overtime wages.
Stephen Craig is a part of an elite team of writers who have contributed to hundreds of blogs and news sites. Follow him @SCraigSEO.