Overtime Pay Basics

Everyone is Assumed to be Entitled to Overtime Pay

Under the law, everyone is assumed to be entitled to overtime pay.   It does not matter how you are paid or what kind of work you do.  Even people who earn a salary are entitled to it.   Most all jobs that involve manual labor or clerical/administrative office work qualify for overtime pay.


The Exemptions to Overtime Pay

The law assumes that everyone should get overtime pay – UNLESS they fall into an exemption.  There are many exemptions but the four most common ones are listed below.


People who are genuine managers are exempt.  To qualify for this exemption, the person must manager two or more people and managing people must be the focus of their job.  If a person manages just a few people and spends the bulk of their effort on other tasks they may not qualify as a manager. Employees are often misclassified as managers just to avoid the overtime pay requirement.


High level company officials who run a company or department within a company are also exempt.  See the U.S. Department of Labor Fact Sheet for more on the Executive and Managerial exemption.

High Level Administrators

Employees who make important, unsupervised, business decisions are also exempt.

Learned Professions

People with advanced degrees like doctors, dentists, lawyers and the like are also exempt.

These are the four most common exemptions.  See a more detailed explanation of your rights to overtime pay on our New York Overtime Lawyers page.   If you have questions, please give us a call for a consultation.

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Robert Ottinger, Esq.

Robert Ottinger is an employment attorney who focuses on representing executives and employees in employment disputes. Before starting his firm, Robert slugged it out in courtrooms trying cases for the government. Robert served as a Deputy Attorney General for the California Department of Justice in Los Angeles and then as Assistant Attorney General for the New York Attorney General’s Office in Manhattan.

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