Exempt Employees in Washington DC Wage and Hour Cases

The Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) generally sets the rules for wage and hour employees. Whether or not an employee is entitled to minimum wage and/or overtime pay can depend on their exemption status, as stated by the FLSA.

The differences between exempt employees and nonexempt employees can cause confusion for both workers and employers. Some kinds of jobs are excluded from the requirement for employers to pay overtime by the FLSA, including many in agriculture. Some professions, including truck drivers, are governed by other laws and regulations.

However, the majority of United States workers are covered by the FLSA and are classified as either exempt or nonexempt employees with respect to pay regulations.

If you believe your employer wrongfully withheld overtime owed to you, or simply withheld payment, or failed to pay the correct amount, you may be entitled to sue for lost wages. Call a seasoned lawyer today about the exempt employees in Washington DC wage and hour cases.

What Constitutes an “Exempt” Employee?

Labor laws hold employers accountable for following certain rules such as paying the correct amount of wages, overtime, and accrued vacation. Some types of jobs, however, are exempt from the requirements. An exempt employee under the FLSA is an employee whose job is not subject to one or more of these requirements.

Certain exempt employees are not granted the protections of the FLSA, others do have this protection, so making a determination on this point may help settle wage and hour disputes when they arise. Some types of jobs, including outside sales staff and airline employees, are considered exempt by the FLSA, but for most professions, there are three tests that determine whether an individual is exempt, which include:

  • The employee is paid a minimum of $455 per week ($23,600 per year)
  • The employee is paid on a salary basis
  • The employee performs exempt job duties

Salary requirements may not apply to certain professions that pay on an hourly basis, including school teachers and physicians.

Generally, exempt employees tend to perform higher-level duties with respect to the company’s operations. The FLSA divides this into three categories: professional, executive, and administration.

In some cases, employees are classified as “exempt” but they spend more than 50 percent of their time performing production work. Employers often will attempt to misclassify employees to avoid paying overtime, and that may result in a case to obtain compensation for unpaid overtime and other lost benefits.

The FLSA does not provide an exempt employee with rights for overtime, so the determination as to whether or not an employee is an exempt employee is key to obtaining this benefit of the law. However, exempt employees may have rights under other laws including by way of employment policies or negotiated contracts.

Statute of Limitations in Wage and Hour Cases

There are strict time limits for filing wage and hour violation claims. The statute of limitations for minimum wage, overtime, or oral contracts is three years under DC law. Employees may file a wage claim with the D.C. Department of Employment Services (DOES) or file a lawsuit in court. For violations of federal law, employees must file within two years.

Protecting the Rights of Washington DC Employees

If you believe that your employer has failed to follow the law in the payment of your wages, then it is highly advisable to contact a skilled attorney. Exempt employees in Washington DC wage and hour cases may face a variety of legal complexities that a knowledgeable attorney could help decipher. To learn more, call today.