THE FLSA PROFESSIONAL EXEMPTION IN OHIO
Should You Be Paid Overtime Wages? Important Information for the Employee about the FLSA Professional Exemption
This article focuses on the Professional Exemption under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA mandates that most employees in the United States be paid at least the federal minimum wage for all hours worked and be compensated with overtime pay for all hours worked over 40 hours a week. Whether an employee is protected by these provisions depends on how the employer classifies that particular employee.
Employers have two ways of classifying employees under the FLSA; exempt or non-exempt. Exempt employees are not protected by the overtime and minimum wage provisions in the FLSA, whereas non-exempt employees are protected.
What are the available exemptions?
Section 13(a) of the FLSA provides an exemption from the minimum wage and overtime pay protections of the FLSA if the employee in question is a bona fide executive, administrative, professional or an outside sales employee.
As the employee, it is important to remember that your job title does not classify you as exempt or non-exempt. To be classified as an exempt employee, you must perform certain job duties and be paid on a salary basis, at a rate not less than $455 per week.
Professional/Learned Employee Exemption
If you are being paid at least $455 per week on a salary basis, these job duties will qualify you for the Professional Exemption:
1) Your “primary duty” must be the performance of work requiring advanced knowledge, defined as work which is predominantly intellectual in character and which includes work requiring the consistent exercise of discretion and judgment;
2) The advanced knowledge must be in a field of science or learning;
3) The advanced knowledge must be customarily acquired by a prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction.
ALL of these requirements must be satisfied in order for an employee to be classified as exempt.
What does “primary duty” mean?
Basically, this means that the main, major or most important job duties the employee is performing are those that require advanced knowledge. Example: One task that you perform every six months requires advanced knowledge. This probably would not qualify you as an exempt employee if the rest of your job duties do not require advanced knowledge.
What is “work requiring advanced knowledge?”
This means work that is predominantly intellectual in character, distinguished from manual, mechanical or physical labor. Advanced knowledge cannot be obtained at the high school level.
Common examples of professions that require advanced knowledge include: lawyer, medical doctor, a certified and licensed accountant, a psychiatrist, etc.
What does “prolonged course of specialized instruction” mean?
This is any field where specialized academic training is a prerequisite for entry into that field.
Examples: law school graduate who must pass the Bar exam before becoming a licensed attorney, medical school graduate who must pass exams in order to be a licensed practitioner of medicine, etc.
If you are unsure whether you are classified as an exempt or non-exempt employee, just ask the Payroll Department and/or Human Resources Department who can shed light on your status as an employee. If you believe you have been misclassified and should be earning overtime wages, contact our firm so we can take a closer look at your job duties and help decide whether you have been misclassified as an exempt employee.
Our Columbus wage and hour lawyers would be happy to take your call.
Rachel and Dominick were incredibly helpful throughout the entire process. They got back to me quickly, whenever I had questions, which helped me stay calm during a very stressful time. Rachel was confident in her abilities and knowledge of the labor laws, and she was able to secure a settlement for me. If you ever find yourself in a situation that requires you take action against an employer, I would highly recommend the Friedman Firm. There's no one I would recommend more to be in your corner.
If you are in need of an employment attorney, this is your sign to talk to Rachel and Jamie. Amazing!! They handled my case like the true professionals they are! They stuck to a strategy, even when it seemed like it wasn’t going our way and BAM! We get the outcome we wanted. I couldn’t be happier and I will always return to them if I EVER have an employment issue again. Thank you so much for helping me and my family!
Dedicated! Thorough! Detailed! Professional! Personable! I can keep going with the many qualities Pete and his team have. I highly recommend him!!! You won't be disappointed.
I needed an employment lawyer to work through a non compete. Pete at The Friedmann Firm was listed as one of the three best rated employment lawyers on a local website. I called him in the morning and later that night he was on the case and provided sound council through a very tense negotiation. Don’t take a chance with your career, reach out and get good council. Pete was very responsive every step of the way and delivered positive results. I highly recommend Pete and his Firm!
Rachel was top-notch from start to finish. She was responsible, professional, quick to respond to emails, texts or phone calls. She gives it to you straight, which I prefer! She thinks outside the box and is definitely the dog you want in the fight for you. She does not waste time and immediately dives right in to get the best results she can for you. I would highly recommend Rachel and her firm to anyone who wants to get the job done right, the first time, in a professional, compassionate and decisive manner.
My wife used this firm for a matter she had with her former employer. She could not have been more satisfied with their services. They were timely in responses, courteous, and very thoughtful. This was a difficult process for her and Pete made it so much easier by handling all of the details of her case.
Rachel Sabo of The Friedmann Firm believed in me when no one else did & helped me through every step of my legal process. Very happy with the firm’s professionalism & dedication to my case.
I called them with some questions about my employment and Jamie was very helpful. I didn’t need an attorney to handle a case for me - only to help me navigate an issue I was having at work. She answered my questions and I felt she truly listened to me. I’d recommend this firm to anyone looking for an employment lawyer. Thank you!
Pete resolved issues I was having with my employer in a quick and favorable manner. He is also easy to talk to and understands his clients rights AND needs. You’d do right to call The Friedmann Firm.
I had a terrific experience with Rachel. She handled my case in a very professional manner. She made herself available and always kept me updated. Her knowledge of the law is incredible. She took the time to educate me on the legal processes so I understood what was happening with my case. Thank you Rachel for helping me navigate a most difficult situation. I am so thankful to have had you as my attorney. You have my highest recommendation.