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Exempt vs. Non-Exempt Employees in New York: Understanding the Differences and Your Rights

As an employee in New York, it’s essential to understand whether you’re classified as an exempt or non-exempt employee. This classification can impact your entitlement to overtime pay and other important labor protections.

Read on as the New York wage and hour lawyers at The Samuel Law Firm explain more on this below.

Exempt Employees in New York

Exempt employees are those who are not entitled to overtime pay under state or federal law. This means they can work more than 40 hours per week without additional compensation for their overtime hours. In order to qualify as exempt, an employee must meet specific criteria.

The most common exemptions include the executive, administrative, and professional exemptions. For example, a CEO who manages a company, a human resources manager who regularly exercises discretion and independent judgment, or a lawyer who holds a law degree and performs legal work for clients would all likely be classified as exempt.

Other exempt positions include certain computer professionals, outside salespersons, and some transportation workers. These positions are defined by specific state or federal regulations, which outline the minimum salary thresholds and job duties required for exemption.

Non-Exempt Employees in New York

Non-exempt employees, on the other hand, are entitled to overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours in a week. This means that they must be paid 1.5 times their regular rate of pay for every hour worked over 40 hours in a single workweek. For example, if an employee normally makes $20 per hour, they would be entitled to $30 per hour for any overtime hours worked.

Most employees fall under the non-exempt category. This includes hourly workers, such as retail and restaurant employees, as well as salaried employees who do not meet the requirements for exemption. For example, an administrative assistant who primarily performs clerical duties or a retail manager who does not have the authority to hire or fire employees would typically be classified as non-exempt.

Factors That Determine Non-Exempt Status

There are several factors that determine whether an employee should be classified as non-exempt. These include:

1. Job Duties: The primary duties of the job must not involve management, administrative or professional work, or sales that take place outside of the employer’s place of business.
2.Salary: The employee must be paid on an hourly basis or earn an annual salary below a certain threshold. Currently, in New York, the salary threshold for exempt employees is $1,125 per week or $58,500 per year.
3. Job Titles: Certain job titles, such as executive assistant or administrative assistant, may not always qualify an employee for exempt status. It’s important to look at the specific duties and responsibilities of the job to determine whether an employee is exempt or non-exempt.

How the Samuel Law Firm Can Help

Understanding the differences between exempt and non-exempt employees in New York is crucial for protecting your rights as an employee. By understanding the criteria for exemption, factors that determine non-exempt status, and how the Samuel Law Firm can assist you, you can make informed decisions about your employment status and take action to ensure that your rights are protected.

If you believe that you have been wrongfully classified as an exempt employee, it’s important to seek legal advice. The New York wage and hour attorneys at The Samuel Law Firm in New York have extensive experience representing employees who have been misclassified and can help you understand your rights and options. Contact us now for a confidential and comprehensive consultation.

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