Talent Sourcing

What Makes an Employee Exempt from Overtime?

Published on May 1st, 2023

As a recruiter or a hiring manager, it's essential to understand the factors that determine an employee's eligibility for overtime pay. Failure to do so could lead to legal and financial implications for your company. Overtime laws vary from state to state, and it's imperative to be familiar with the Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA) guidelines to avoid non-compliance penalties. In this blog post, we'll explore what makes an employee exempt from overtime and the criteria to determine eligibility.

The FLSA categorizes employees into two classifications: exempt and non-exempt. Non-exempt employees are eligible for overtime pay of not less than one and a half times their regular pay rate for standard hours worked beyond 40 hours per week. Exempt employees are not eligible for overtime pay, regardless of the hours worked. To qualify as exempt, the employee must meet three tests: the Salary Level test, the Salary Basis test, and the Duties test.

The Salary Level test requires that the employee earns a salary of not less than $684 per week, which equates to $35,568 annually. The salary must be consistent and predetermined, meaning that the employee's pay should not be influenced by the hours worked or quantity or quality of work performed. If an employee doesn't meet this criteria, they are not exempt and entitled to overtime pay.

The Salary Basis test requires that the employee receives a predetermined amount of pay each pay period, regardless of the hours worked. The employee must be paid the full salary for any workweek where they perform work, except for certain deductions that are permissible under the FLSA. If an employer unlawfully makes improper deductions from the employee's salary, then they lose their exempt status and become entitled to overtime pay.

The Duties test is the most critical criteria to meet for an employee to qualify as exempt. The employee's job duties must satisfy one of the FLSA's executive, administrative, professional, computer, or outside sales exemption categories. Each category has specific duties and requirements that the employee must meet, as outlined in the FLSA guidelines. Failure to meet any of these categories results in a loss of exempt status and entitles the employee to overtime pay.

Why to Leverage EasySource for Talent Sourcing?

EasySource revolutionizes the process of hiring for recruiters, providing them with a groundbreaking automated talent sourcing tool. This innovative solution simplifies the search for exempt employees by swiftly constructing a strong talent pipeline with just a few clicks. Through the utilization of advanced AI-based filters, such as location, skills, education, experience, and US work authorization, EasySource significantly enhances the efficiency of finding relevant candidates.

In addition to its impressive array of features, EasySource incorporates ChatGPT and Generative AI, enabling recruiters to effortlessly send highly personalized messages to candidates through various platforms, all streamlined through automation. This integration empowers recruiters to amplify their LinkedIn searches and effectively identify and engage with potential exempt candidates, eliminating the arduous task of sifting through countless resumes in search of exceptional talent.


Employers must ensure that their employees are correctly classified as either exempt or non-exempt. A thorough understanding of the FLSA guidelines is critical to avoid legal and financial implications. A misclassified employee can file a lawsuit demanding back-pay and penalties for unpaid overtime. With the help of this blog post, recruiters and hiring managers can gain a comprehensive understanding of what makes an employee exempt from overtime. It's imperative always to consult legal experts before making any classification decisions and keep up-to-date with any changes made to the FLSA overtime rules. By doing so, your company can avoid any misclassification issues and foster healthy employer-employee relations.



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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