Executive Employees

The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provides legal protections to employees. Most, although not all, workplaces are required to comply with the FLSA.

One of the protections the federal law offers is related to job classification. Certain positions can be classified as exempt from overtime pay if the employee meets specific criteria. Improper classification of an employee, whether intentional or not, can subject an employer to a costly lawsuit. If you have questions about employee classification, contact an attorney for assistance.

Classification of an Executive Employee

Under the FLSA, employees must meet the following criteria in order to qualify as an executive employee, the employee must:

  • Be salaried;
  • Earn a minimum of $455 per week;
  • Have significant management duties. Management duties can consist of managing the entire company, a department or a subdivision of the company.
  • Have responsibilities over at least two full-time employees and have the ability to direct their work;
  • Be able to hire or fire employees. Alternatively, if the employee does not have this power, the employee's recommendations for hiring, firing and promotion must be given significant weight in the company's decision-making process with regard to personnel.

For an employee to be classified as an executive employee, the worker's managerial responsibilities must make up more than 50 percent of his or her job duties.

Managerial Responsibilities

According to the FLSA, management duties include interviewing, hiring, and training employees. Managers also have the ability to set and adjust employees' pay rates and hours. They are able to evaluate employees' work performance and recommend an employee for promotion, demotion, or other changes in the employee's work situation. Managers can also direct the work of employees, determining the method in which work is performed as well as the types of equipment and materials they should use to perform the work. They are responsible for handling complaints and disciplining employees.

Under the FLSA, an executive employee's recommendations for personnel decisions are considered valuable in the decision-making process. The fact that a recommendation is not followed does not preclude an employee from being classified as an executive, as long as their recommendations are taken into consideration in the decision-making process.

The FLSA creates a special exemption for business owners. If an employee is involved in management, he or she may also be a "business owner" if the employee owns at least a 20 percent equity interest in the company.

Contact a Lawyer to Resolve Workplace Disputes

The law firm of Mays & Kerr has helped many employers and employees resolve FLSA-related disputes. Our energetic team of attorneys relies on creative problem-solving and collaboration to facilitate favorable outcomes for our clients. We represent employers and employees in labor disputes. Our depth of knowledge regarding Georgia law and the FLSA enables us to guide clients in numerous employment matters.

To learn more about how Mays & Kerr can help, contact our Georgia employment lawyers today.