How Much Time Must Managers Spend on Management Tasks to be Exempt from Overtime?

Posted on behalf of Peter T. Nicholl in Unpaid Overtime Jun 22, 2021

manager wearing hard hat in front of warehouse aisleAs far as federal overtime laws are concerned, manager is just a title, it does not make someone exempt from overtime laws.

Below, learn more about when managers may be exempt from overtime requirements. If you think you have been misclassified as exempt and as a result have been denied overtime pay, give us a call to schedule a free consultation.

The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl has helped many workers from a variety of companies recover unpaid overtime wages. If we validate your claim and you hire our firm, we are committed to pursuing unpaid wages and other damages that may be available.

Overtime Exemptions for Managers

There is a common misperception that workers can be exempt from overtime pay based on their job title. However, workers are exempted based on various factors, particularly the type of work they do and their pay.

Typically, managers may be exempted from overtime requirements if they manage and supervise other employees, meaning they direct the work of other employees and can make decisions about it.

While the Fair Labor Standards Act does not say how much time must be spent on managerial tasks, the law makes clear managers cannot be exempted from overtime requirements if they spend most of the day doing non-managerial tasks. Managers should be regularly using their management powers, or they will not be eligible for overtime pay.

For example, managers who are exempt from overtime requirements often do the following kinds of things:

  • Evaluate other employees
  • Communicate directly with the leaders of the company
  • Have the final word on resolving a customer’s complaints
  • Reprimand employees
  • Sign purchase receipts
  • Can access confidential or sensitive information at a company

If you spend more than half your day doing non-managerial things like cleaning or housekeeping tasks, you are likely not exempt from overtime requirements. If you are closely supervised and have your work directed by your superiors and rarely get to make decisions about the work you do or the work other employees do, it is unlikely you are exempt from overtime requirements.

You may think that being paid on a salary basis makes you exempt from overtime, but that is not necessarily true. If you are paid on salary and spend most of your time doing managerial tasks, you may be exempt. It all depends on your specific circumstances.

Executive Exemption

Managers may qualify for the executive exemption from overtime requirements. If your primary duties involve the following, you may qualify:

  • Managing the enterprise
  • Managing a department in the enterprise
  • Regularly directing the work of two or more full-time employees
  • AND you have the authority to hire or fire employees or give input into hiring, firing or advancement of employees

You must also earn no less than $684 per week and be compensated on a salary basis to be exempt from overtime requirements.    

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) says management often includes activities like:

  • Training of employees
  • Maintaining production or sales records for use in supervision
  • Appraising productivity
  • Determining techniques used
  • Planning and controlling the budget
  • Determining the types of materials, supplies, machinery, equipment or tools to be used
  • Providing for the safety and security of employees

Denied Overtime Pay? Call for Legal Help

Unsure of what to do after being denied overtime pay? Give us a call to see how we may be able to assist you. Our unpaid overtime lawyers have secured millions on behalf of workers denied overtime.

There are no fees for an initial consultation to discuss your situation. You are not obligated to hire our firm after this meeting.

Contact our personal injury lawyers for a free consultation if you have been injured by another’s negligence. You may be entitled to compensation.



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