Ask the Experts: White Collar Exemptions Tests

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Question: What determines if an employee falls within one of the FLSA white collar exemptions?

Answer: To qualify for exemption, a white collar employee generally must:

  1. Be salaried, meaning that he or she is paid a predetermined and fixed salary that is not subject to reduction because of variations in the quality or quantity of work performed (the “salary basis test”);
  2. Be paid at least $684* per week (the equivalent of $35,568 annually for a full-year worker) (the “salary level test”); and
  3. Primarily perform executive, administrative, or professional duties, as defined in the DOL’s regulations (the “duties test”).

 

Certain white collar employees are not subject to either the salary basis or salary level tests (for example: doctors, teachers, and lawyers).

*  The $684 per week threshold goes into effect January 1, 2020. For the remainder of 2019, the rate is $455 per week/$23,660 annually.

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