The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provides the legal requirements for minimum wage and overtime pay, among other worker rights. A violation of the Act could give rise to a wage and hour claim, which could negatively affect a business.

However, not all workers in Connecticut and nationwide are protected by the FLSA. Ultimately, whether a worker is covered by the Act depends on whether the worker is an exempt employee or a nonexempt employee.

Employers are required to provide overtime pay for nonexempt workers who work more than 40 hours a week, and nonexempt workers must be paid at least the minimum wage. If a nonexempt employee is classified as an exempt employee, even mistakenly, this could lead to a wage and hour claim.

In general, a worker is an exempt employee, and thus is not protected by the FLSA, if three requirements are met. First, the worker must earn a minimum of $23,600 annually (or $455 weekly). Second, the worker must be salaried, not hourly. Finally, the worker’s job duties must be exempt under the FLSA. Exempt job duties may be executive, professional or administrative in nature. It is important to note that the Act lists some specific occupations that are considered exempt across the board.

This brief overview of wage and hour violations based on the classification of workers is for informational purposes only. Businesses accused of misclassifying employees or workers who believe they were misclassified as exempt will want to seek the legal help they need to better understand their rights and options.