Employee Classification Checklist for FSLA Compliance – Exempt or Non-Exempt

Employers must properly classify their employees as either exempt or nonexempt from overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). A key distinction between workers who are exempt from overtime pay and those who are not is that exempt workers are paid for the work performed, not the number of hours worked, earning a set salary rather than an hourly rate. Another key distinction is made with the salary basis test. Workers earning less than the minimum required salary of $913 per week are considered non-exempt and subject to FLSA overtime provision.

Employees who are paid a weekly salary of at least $913 must also meet the Department of Labor’s standards for one of six categories outlined here to be classified as exempt from overtime pay. Employees not in these categories are generally non-exempt from overtime.

Use this checklist to see if you are classifying workers who are paid a weekly salary of at least $913 correctly as exempt or non-exempt employees.

Executive Employee


Administrative Employee


Outside Sales Employee


Computer Professional


Creative Professional Employee


Learned Professional Employee


A “No” answer to any of these questions indicates you may be misclassifying exempt employees

If you answered “No” to any of these questions, the employee may be misclassified as an exempt learned professional.

If you answered “No” to any of these questions about the essential job functions of employees you have classified as exempt from overtime, you may be misclassifying exempt employees. You should look at employees’ job descriptions compared to FLSA regulations, talk to employees’ direct supervisors, and bring the matter to the attention of management. When violations are found, the Labor Department takes action to recover wages for misclassified employees, sometimes reaching millions of dollars in back pay obligations, plus penalties.


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