Administrative Employees

One of the most complicated areas of employment law is that related to the classification of employees. Employee classification affects an employee's ability to earn overtime pay and the employee's eligibility for benefits.

The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provides certain protections to employees. It prohibits employers from requiring workers to perform job duties without pay, unless they are compensated fairly. However, some employers attempt to misclassify their employees in order to save costs. If you have questions related to employee classification, contact a lawyer to discuss your rights and responsibilities.

What is an Administrative Employee?

Administrative employees are exempt from the FLSA and are ineligible to receive overtime pay. An administrative employee is a worker who spends more than 50 percent of his or her working time performing office work that is directly related to business operations. Administrative employees are responsible for interpreting and implementing management policies. They may also have the ability to represent the company in significant financial commitments. Administrative employees have flexibility to perform some aspects of their job without securing approval from a superior.

In the workplace, an administrative employee is able to exercise his or her independent discretion when it comes to performing work that is related to business operations. Typical administrative positions include:

  • Office managers
  • Human resources professionals
  • Marketing personnel
  • Insurance agents
  • Computer networking professionals
Administrative Employee Classification under the FLSA

As with any job classification, job titles matter less than the actual job requirements and functions. Under the FLSA, administrative employees are exempt from both the minimum wage and the overtime pay requirements set forth in the Act. To qualify for an exemption as an administrative employee, employees must be salaried and receive a minimum of $455 per week. Administrative employees' primary duty must be the performance of non-manual work that is directly related to general business operations.

The most important distinction between administrative employees and other workers is their ability to exercise discretion and independent judgment to handle matters related to business operations. These roles can include:

  • Implementing or formulating office policies
  • Carrying out a job function that is essential to furthering business operations
  • The ability to deviate from the company's established policies and procedures without the approval of a superior

An employee may also qualify as an administrative employee if the worker provides services to the company's clients. For example, tax experts and financial consultants may be considered to be exempt administrative employees.

Our Lawyers Are Knowledgeable about the FLSA

If you have questions or concerns about the classification of employees and the compensation and benefits they receive, contact a lawyer at the law firm of Mays & Kerr for a consultation.