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I have a job as an administrative assistant, can I get overtime?

Whether you have a right to overtime pay in Missouri for overtime hours will depend on whether your administrative job is exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime pay provisions. The title of the job, including the term administrative, is not dispositive and can be misleading.

If you are exempt from overtime pay requirements, this means that your employer can obligate you to work more than your 40 hours a week, without additional compensation for any additional amount of work time. In other words, you will get your weekly total, whether you work 40 hours or 50 hours.

At times, employers may categorize an employee incorrectly as an exempt employee. The benefits to the employer, even if accidental, can be lucrative. As such, knowing if this can be the case for you may be extremely important to you and your family.

Requirements to be subject to exemption from right to overpay

To be properly exempt from the right to overtime pay for overtime work, your position has to meet the following four requirements:

  • Your compensation must be at least $455 per week
  • Your main duty must be non-manual in nature, such as office work
  • Your work must relate to the business operations of the employer or its customers, or involve the business’ management
  • You must have discretionary powers regarding significant employer concerns within your primary duty

When determining if your main duty of your job complies with the exempt criteria noted above, the FLSA says that it must typically be the most important responsibility you have. Thus, if the office work you do is not the main area of your duties, then it may not suffice to make you exempt. All facts and details surrounding your work are under consideration if determining whether you are exempt from the right to overtime pay.

Operations or management for employer or employer clients

An important consideration is whether your job focuses on business operations or management. To be management or operations oriented, your work may fall under one of many areas, including the following:

  • Accounting or tax
  • Advertising, public relations or marketing
  • Research or safety and health fields
  • Public or government relations
  • Legal compliance
  • Computer networking or administration of internet and databases

However, if you are selling a retail product or a service, however white collar it may be, then this would not fall under that which points towards business operations or management and you would not be exempt under the administrative exemption.

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