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How to Keep Exempt Employees Exempt

March 31, 2009

As counterintuitive as it may sound, an executive or managerial employee who is hired to perform in an exempt capacity, may nonetheless be entitled to pay for overtime and for missed rest and meal breaks depending on how they actually spend their time at work. Simply because the job title sounds “executive” in nature, or because the job description declares the position to be “exempt” is not dispositive. It likewise does not matter if the employee acknowledges that he or she was hired for an exempt position. Instead, the true inquiry is: how much time is this employee devoting to certain job duties? An otherwise exempt employee who devotes more than 50% of his or her time to nonexempt type duties is no longer considered exempt, and must be paid accordingly.

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