The Texas Workforce Commission is responsible for administering labor laws throughout the state, including upholding federal standards. Federal laws contained in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) state that all employees in the U.S. are to be paid an hourly rate no less than the federal minimum wage and shall receive overtime pay for hours in excess of 40 in a workweek. There are exceptions to this standard called "exemptions." In addition to the rule that salaried workers' base pay must be at least $455 per week, other standards must be met if that person is paid a salary and considered exempt from the FLSA wage policy.
Job Duties Test
Employees "primary duties" are those in which the worker spends more than 50 percent of their time performing during a workweek. In many cases, when 50 percent or less work time is devoted to primary jobs, an employee may still be qualified for FLSA exemption if the managerial duties are seen as important when compared to other kinds of work being performing. The amount of time the person spends performing exempt tasks and the ability to make decisions without direct supervision are other factors. Dollar amounts paid to the worker compared to those employees not exempt from the act can also determine if the task is a primary duty. An employee's job title is not enough to exempt that person from the FLSA wage requirements. The nature of the workers responsibilities is also a measure of an employee's exemption. Salaried employees must be in a leadership role and provide supervision over at least two or more workers. FLSA exempt employees are normally high-ranking people within the company possessing advanced skills, and are required make independent decisions as part of their job routine.
Executive and Administrative Exemption
Executive and administrative positions are exempt from FLSA wage requirements. A company president, leader of a major division of a business, and department heads involved in making hiring, firing, and promotion decisions are executive positions. The law views administrative jobs as those not requiring manual labor and generally taking place in an office setting. Administration employees perform primary duties that directly relate to managing general business operations of a company or the companies customers. Administrative workers also have the primary duty of making arbitrary decisions with respect to important company matters.
Texas Payday Law
FLSA exempt workers must receive pay no less than once per month. Employers may establish pay periods greater than once a month at their discretion. Notices explaining the company's payday policies must be posted in an obvious location in the workplace. Companies that do not set standards for paydays are required to pay workers on the first and 15th day of the month. Workers that are terminated from employment must be paid the full amount due within six days; those who voluntarily quit shall receive all wages at the next regular payday. The law covers all types of wages earned and includes bonuses, commissions, and benefits due according to any written agreement. Reimbursements, such as gifts or gratuities, are not included in the payday law. Payments must be made in U.S. currency unless the employee has previously agreed to be compensated in some other form.
- U.S. Wage and Hour Division: Blue-Collar Workers and the Part 541 Exemptions Under the FLSA (First Paragraph)
- Texas Workforce Commission: What is the Texas Workforce Commission?
- Texas Workforce Commission: Duties Test (Primary Duty) (Executive Exemption) (Administrative Exemption)
- Texas Workforce Commission: Focus on the White-Collar Exemptions
- Texas Workforce Commission: Summary of Texas Payday Law (Rights, Duties and Obligations) (Payment of Wages)
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.