The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) states that most workers in the United States be paid no less than the federal hourly minimum wage, and be compensated overtime pay for any hours worked in excess of 40 in a workweek. Michigan requires an employee to meet specific guidelines set by the FLSA to be considered a salaried worker, and thus be exempt from hourly wages and overtime. Most workers classified as salaried must be paid a wage of at least $455 per week. The law also considers primary job duties in determining employees’ status as salaried.
An executive employees’ main job duty must be to manage a specific department or division of a business. Executives have to direct at least two or more full-time workers and have the ability to hire and fire other workers. Executives must also have authority to promote or demote workers. If an employee owns at least 20 percent of the business they are working in, that person is considered an executive.
Administrative employees are those who engage in non-manual work in an office setting. Duties must relate directly to the general operation of the company or its customers. People in administrative positions must routinely make arbitrary decisions that are of great importance to the business. Administrative professionals in the area of education are classified as salaried employees if they oversee standards such as grading, creation of a curriculum, and supervise the operation of a school.
The law views a professional employee in two general categories: a learned professional or a creative professional. Learned professionals must perform work that is mostly intellectual and have excellent knowledge in the areas of science or learning gained through an extended course of higher education. In most cases, an employee with a degree is considered a learned professional.
A creative professional uses their imagination or talent to perform a job that is artistic or creative in nature. Work must be in a recognized field such as writing, acting, music or graphic arts. Occupations that do not require an employee to apply their own unique style to a piece of work, such as journalist who only gathers information that is already available to the public, are not considered a creative professional.
Employees, who take sales orders, or write contract agreements promising a product or service from a business, are viewed as outside sales people provided they normally do their work away from the company office or other facility. The minimum salary requirement does not apply to outside sales workers. Sales made over the Internet, phone or by mail are usually not considered outside sales unless the contact is made to set up a personal sales call. Workers acting as drivers to deliver goods are seen as outside sales people only if their main duty is making sales instead of simply delivering a product.
People working as computer systems analysts, programmers, software specialists or other commonly skilled computer fields may be paid the weekly FLSA minimum salary amount, or may be compensated no less than $27.63 per hour of work. Employees involved in manufacturing or repairing computers are not recognized as salaried workers under the law.
- U.S. Department of Labor: Exemption for Executive Employees Under the FLSA
- U.S. Department of Labor: Exemption for Administrative Employees Under the FLSA
- U.S. Department of Labor: Exemption for Professional Employees Under the FLSA
- U.S. Department of Labor: Exemption for Outside Sales Employees Under the FLSA
- U.S. Department of Labor: Exemptions for Employees in Computer-Related Occupations
Theresa Custodio is a Michigan-certified nurseryman with over 10 years experience. She has spent over five years working for the State of Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality writing permits and violation notices, which are published for public record. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from Eastern Michigan University with a major in biology and a minor in conservation and resource use.