What is a Non-Exempt Employee?

What is a Non-Exempt Employee?

Published on June 6th, 2023



As recruiters and hiring managers, it is important to know whether an employee is exempt or non-exempt. Understanding the difference is crucial when it comes to complying with labor laws and setting the right pay structure. In this blog post, we will delve into what a non-exempt employee is, their rights, and how to determine whether someone is classified as non-exempt.

Firstly, let's define what it means to be a non-exempt employee. A non-exempt employee is someone who is entitled to overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Overtime pay is any pay for hours worked that exceeds 40 hours within a workweek. Non-exempt employees must receive a rate of at least one and a half times their regular hourly rate for any overtime work.

Also, non-exempt employees are not exempt from minimum wage laws and must receive at least the minimum wage set by the state they work in. In most states, the minimum wage is higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25.

Non-exempt employees are also entitled to rest and meal breaks. Federal law does not require employers to give rest or meal breaks, but some states do. For instance, California requires employers to provide an unpaid 30-minute meal break for every five hours of work. Employers who fail to provide breaks risk facing penalties and fines.

If you're wondering how to classify an employee as non-exempt, there are two factors you should consider: job duties and salary. Job duties refer to the tasks an employee performs. If the primary job duties are administrative, executive or professional, or they have the authority to make decisions, they are likely exempt. Examples of exempt positions are doctors, teachers, CEOs, and lawyers.

The second factor is the salary test which means the employee must earn a minimum salary threshold to be exempt. This threshold varies by state but in general, the minimum salary is $684 per week or $35,568 a year. Suffice to say, employees who earn less than this amount are considered non-exempt.

How to Find non-exempt employees with EasySource?

EasySource revolutionizes the recruitment process for non-exempt employees by offering the world's first fully automated talent-sourcing tool. It streamlines the search for suitable candidates by effortlessly creating a strong talent pipeline with just a few clicks. By utilizing advanced AI-based filters like location, skills, education, experience, and US work authorization, EasySource simplifies the task of finding relevant candidates.

Furthermore, EasySource incorporates cutting-edge technologies such as ChatGPT and Generative AI, empowering recruiters to send highly personalized messages to potential candidates across various platforms, all with the convenience of automation. With EasySource recruiters can enhance their LinkedIn search capabilities and effortlessly discover and engage with promising non-exempt candidates, eliminating the need to sift through countless resumes in search of exceptional talent.


In conclusion, understanding the difference between exempt and non-exempt employees is crucial for recruiters and hiring managers. Employees who are classified as non-exempt have certain rights, including overtime pay, minimum wage, and rest and meal breaks. To determine if an employee is classified as non-exempt, you should consider their job duties and salary. Classifying employees correctly will help you avoid legal issues and ensure you are paying them fairly.





Radhika Sarraf

Radhika Sarraf is a content specialist and a woman of many passions who currently works at HireQuotient, a leading recruitment SaaS company. She is a versatile writer with experience in creating compelling articles, blogs, social media posts, and marketing collaterals.

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