Published in the Union Leader
Q. Do salaried employees in New Hampshire qualify for overtime?
A: By federal law, employees in New Hampshire are entitled to overtime unless they fall within a specific exception or are considered exempt under the law.
The federal Fair Labor Standards Act, ("FLSA"), sets the standards for the federal minimum wage, overtime pay, record keeping, and other requirements that affect full time and part time employees. With minor exceptions, the FLSA applies to companies that engage in or produce goods for interstate commerce, or handle, sell, or work on goods or materials that have been moved in or produced for interstate commerce.
Under the FLSA, workers are entitled to a federal minimum wage and overtime pay protections unless the workers fall within an exception or are considered exempt employees. Nonexempt employees are entitled to overtime pay of not less than 1.5 times their regular rate of pay after 40 hours of work in a workweek.
Simply because an employer pays an employee on a salary basis does not make the employee exempt. The FLSA exempts employees from the minimum wage and overtime requirements who are paid a salary of not less than $455 per week, or $23,660 per year, and who are employed in a bona fide executive, administrative, professional, certain computer professions or creative professions, or outside sales capacity as defined under the law. For each category, an employee must meet both the salary test and specific job duties or criteria listed.
Employers should carefully analyze the job duties for each position considered for exemption to determine if the job qualifies for exemption. Certain other exemptions also apply for business owners, highly compensated employees making more than $100,000 year, and other jobs specifically considered exempt under the FLSA. For information on exemptions and job categories exempt from overtime, visit www.dol.gov.
NH has enacted minimum wage and overtime pay laws. When federal law differs from New Hampshire law, employers must comply with the more protective law. Currently, New Hampshire does not have provisions relating to exempt employees and New Hampshire has the same minimum wage as federal law.
Overtime disputes are on the rise. If incorrectly classified, an employer will be liable to the employee for all wages owed, as a nonexempt employee. These minimum standards cannot be waived or reduced. Companies should carefully review job descriptions to confirm the actual job duties performed and to assess proper classification of employees as exempt or nonexempt.
Jennifer Parent can be reached at [email protected].
Know the Law is a bi-weekly column sponsored by The McLane Law Firm.
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