New York Labor Law Exemption: Professional Employee Overtime Exemption

New York Lawyer Explains

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Under New York law, all employees who work more than 40 hours in a workweek are entitled to overtime pay at a rate of 1.5 times their regular rate of pay for each hour over 40 hours in that workweek.  However, some employees are not entitled to overtime pay under New York Labor Law section 651, which provides several exemptions.  One such exemption is to “professional employees.”  This means that individuals who are deemed a professional employee are not entitled to overtime pay.  Our NYC overtime lawyer explains how the New York Labor Law applies to professional employees.
Elements of the Professional Employee Overtime Exemption

For the New York Labor Law exemption to apply, there must be two elements that are met to deem an employee a professional.

1) The Employee’s Primary Duty Consists of the Perform of Work That:

– Requires knowledge of an advanced type in a field of science or learning customarily acquired by a prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction and study, as distinguished from a general academic education, an apprenticeship, a training of routine mental, manual, or physical processes; OR

– Is original and creative in a recognized field of artistic endeavor, and procedures a result that depends primary on the invention, imagination, or talent of the employee.

2) The Employee’s Work:

– Requires the consistent exercise of discretion and judgment in its performance;

– Is predominately intellectual and varied in character (as opposed to routine mental, manual, mechanical, or physical work);

– Is of such character that he output produced or the result accomplished cannot be standardized in relation to a given period of time.

Both Elements Are Required for the Professional Employee Exemption to Apply

When it comes to a New York Labor Law exemption such as the professional employee exemption, it is important that employees have their status confirmed.  Each of these elements has multiple parts that could apply or multiple ways which the exemption could be satisfied.  But sometimes employers may try to force an employee into one of these components in order to save money.

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Contact Us!

If you suspect that your employer has changed your job title to a professional in order to no longer pay you overtime, that could be illegal and entitle you to compensation.  Call our New York City overtime lawyers at The Samuel Law Firm to learn what your next steps are.  We handle cases throughout New York, especially in New York City and Northern New Jersey. Call us at 646-663-4228 or send us an email at for a free consultation on how we can assist you.

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