Most full-time employees in Texas are entitled to receive overtime pay if they work more than 40 hours per week. However, some salaried employees are exempt from overtime compensation. A salaried employee is an employee who is paid the same fixed salary regardless of changes in their work hours or performance. Overtime pay exemptions are only made for employees who do so-called white collar work.
Earlier in 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor revised the overtime regulations in the Fair Labor Standards Act, and the final rule will be effective on Dec. 1. The new rule increases the annual salary thresholds for employees that are exempt from overtime pay. Salaried employees must now earn at least $47,476 per year to be exempt from overtime pay. Highly compensated employees who may also be exempt from overtime compensation must now earn at least $134,004 per year. In the past, salaried employees who earned at least $23,660 per year and HCEs who earned at least $100,000 per year could qualify as exempt.
A salaried or highly compensated employee who earns an annual income that exceeds the annual salary threshold is not automatically exempt from overtime pay. An employee must also pass a duties test to be exempt. The duties test requires an exempt employee to perform mainly professional, executive or administrative duties.
In an effort to avoid paying the correct amount of overtime compensation to their employees, some employers may claim overtime exemptions for employees that do not actually qualify as exempt. An attorney may be able to help an employee who was unlawfully denied overtime pay to pursue financial compensation from their employer by filing a complaint with the Department of Labor or appropriate state agency.