The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) automatically qualifies certain types of workers who meet overtime pay requirements for guaranteed overtime for all hours worked over 40 in a single week (or daily overtime limits set by New York overtime laws). If your work involves manual labor (such as construction worker, factory attendant, cashier, etc.) you most likely fall within the protections of overtime law.
Additionally, certain specific job positions such as first-responders, police, paramedics, and firefighters, are specifically offered overtime protection under the FLSA as well as practical nurses and paralegals, who would otherwise fall under the exempted category. These specific protections are in place because these particular professionals often endure long hours of work, and may be otherwise exploited or overworked by their employers.
Overtime Exemptions in New York State
Overtime laws in New York State are designed to prevent workers from being exploited by their employers. Hourly wage earners are the primary protected group. Because of the nature of the work environment and working hours required by certain careers, there are a wide variety of specific exemptions to New York overtime eligibility. Out of an estimated 120 million workers in America, almost 50 million are exempt from overtime laws, including:
- Executives, administrators, and other professionals earning at least $455 per week do not have to be paid overtime under Section 13(a)(1) of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
- External salespeople (who often set their own hours) are also exempted from NY overtime requirements, as are some types of computer-related workers.
- Independent contractors, who are not considered legal employees, are also exempt from overtime law.
- Other exempt positions include some transportation workers, certain agricultural and farm workers, and some live-in employees such as housekeepers.
In order to determine if a job is exempt from overtime, the FLSA provides a series of tests to determine the overtime eligibility of an employee based on pay rate, working conditions, skill level, and other factors.
If your job position does not fall into one of the four main exemption categories to overtime law (executive, administrative, professional, and outside sales) your job is eligible for overtime protection under New York and Federal overtime law. Your employer is required by law to pay you an overtime premium for all qualifying overtime hours worked.
If your employer owes you overtime pay, or if you are unsure about your eligibility, an New York employment attorney will work with you to ensure you receive your fair wages for all hours worked. A skilled employment attorney can afford you the representation you deserve and ensure your legal rights are protected.