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Who is exempt from Fair Labor Standards Act wage regulations?

Many workers in Michigan put in extra hours on the job with the understanding that they will receive overtime pay. Most of these workers understand that such payment is required under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. However, some workers are exempted from these national overtime pay provisions. Every employee should check with an employer before accepting a job to determine whether the job is one of those that is exempt. In fact, this should be part of the process of looking closely at any job contract to find out what an employer expects and how and when the worker will be paid.

Those who earn their living from commissioned sales are exempt from overtime pay requirements if more than half of their earnings come from commissions and their average earnings are 1.5 times the prevailing state minimum hourly wage. Computer professionals who earn more than $27.63 per hour are also exempt from FLSA's overtime pay requirements. Drivers, helpers and mechanics who are employed by motor carriers, such as trucking companies, may also be exempt because a lot of overtime work is prohibited because it can compromise the safety of passengers or goods transported in vehicles.

In addition, agricultural workers employed on small farms are exempt from both federal requirements for both minimum wages and overtime pay. Salespeople and mechanics employed by automobile dealerships are also exempt. Finally, executives or other employees who work by contract and are paid regular salaries are also exempt from wage and overtime provisions.

These laws and acts were developed with the purpose of protecting employees and providing employers some measure of certainty regarding how they pay workers.

Source: dol.gov, "Fair Labor Standards Act Advisor," Accessed on May 29, 2015

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