The issuance of the recent proposed amendments to the Fair Labor Standards
Act (FLSA) affecting the circumstances under which someone may be considered
“exempt” v. “non-exempt” and when a worker may
be entitled to overtime pay underscores the importance of the correct
In fact how you are classified can have a significant impact, affecting
your take home pay, the benefits you are entitled to and the workplace
protections you receive. For example, if you are classified as an independent
contractor, you will not be entitled to any over time pay.
To determine whether a worker is an independent contractor or employee
the new standards now evaluate “whether the worker is economically
dependent on the employer or truly in business for him or herself.”
Additionally, in most circumstances independent contractors are not entitled
to receive employment benefits and they lack many of the protections set
forth in anti-discrimination laws.
Another key determination is figuring out whether a worker is exempt or
not-exempt. If a worker is considered exempt, he or she will not be entitled
to overtime pay regardless of how much time spent working. Alternatively,
if you are considered non-exempt you may be able to earn overtime pay
at a rate of one and one-half times your standard rate of pay for all
time worked in excess of 40 hours in any workweek. However, as the result
of the potential over-inclusion of many workers as “exempt”
that legislators never intended to deny paying over-time compensation,
the Department of Labor (DOL) has now proposed an increased salary threshold
that workers must meet in order to be considered exempt (up from $455/hour).
Otherwise, an employee will be entitled to earn time and a half for hours
put in above 40.
For more information, or if you have questions concerning your classification, please
contact the experienced Atlanta wage and hour lawyers at Buckley Beal LLP for an immediate consultation.