Salary Rules & Overtime Pay

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Many salaried employees are exempt from overtime pay, but the rules for exemption are complex. Employers know this, and many of them take advantage of employees by misclassifying them.

If you believe your overtime rights were violated because your employer misclassified you as salaried, contact Kennard Law, P.C. by calling (855) 499-4514. Our Houston employment law attorneys advise and represent employees in Texas and nationwide.

When Does Overtime Start in Texas?

Under Federal and Texas overtime laws, non-exempt salaried employees who have worked in excess of 40 hours in a work week are entitled to overtime pay of 1.5 times the employee's regular rate of pay.

Who Is Exempt from Overtime in Texas?

For an employee to be exempt from overtime pay, the employee must be paid an annual salary of at least $684 per week (since January 2020) — and perform certain job duties that are recognized as exempt such as executive, administrative, or professional roles.

Some examples of exempt employees include:

  • Roles with high-level duties such as managerial or administrative work
  • Outside sales
  • Teachers
  • Flight attendants
  • Commission-based roles

Job title alone is not the determining factor, and there are certain guidelines that must be met in order to determine whether a worker is classified as exempt or non-exempt.

How Do Employers Avoid Paying Overtime?

In many cases, the employer will try to avoid paying overtime by classifying the employee as a salaried manager or supervisor when the employee does not actually perform managerial or supervisory duties. A job duties test can determine whether your employer has violated your overtime rights. If the test shows that you should not be exempt, your employer may owe you significant back pay for any overtime you have worked.

When An Employer Reclassifies You As Nonexempt

If your employer recently reclassified you as nonexempt and your job duties did not change, your employer may have violated your overtime rights by previously classifying you as salaried. The fact that your employer reclassified you without paying you back for overtime could be a clear indication that your employer willfully violated your overtime rights.

Lost overtime pay can quickly add up, and sometimes employees who were misclassified as salaried are owed thousands of dollars in back pay. Our attorneys know the overtime and salary rules, and we can help you get the full and fair compensation you are owed.

Common Myths About Overtime Rules

"All salaried employees are not entitled to overtime"

Whether or not an employee is salaried does not determine overtime eligibility. Salaried employees who are nonexempt are entitled to overtime pay due to the nature of their job duties.

"Employers can deduct pay for unauthorized overtime"

Even if the overtime use was not approved beforehand, employers must still pay the worker for their extra hours worked at the overtime rate. Rather than reducing their pay, employers should take other corrective or disciplinary action instead.

"Overtime can be waived"

It is illegal for employers to not pay overtime or force workers to work excess hours without additional pay. An employer cannot simply announce that he/she will not pay overtime or include that in any agreements to workers.

"Hours worked can be averaged across several weeks"

Overtime is based on a weekly work week, not the average of hours worked across multiple weeks. Within a given week, if an employee works more than 40 hours, they should be entitled to overtime pay.

Contact A Knowledgeable Employment Lawyer

To discuss your case with a skilled and dedicated employment law attorney in Houston, contact our firm by calling (855) 499-4514 today! With offices in Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Southern California, Rio Grande Valley, El Paso, and Washington D.C., we are ready to help you.

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    Alfonso Kennard Jr.

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    Alfonso Kennard, Jr., is a nationally recognized attorney and trial lawyer and the founding Shareholder of Kennard Law P.C. ...
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    Ellen Sprovach


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    Eddie Hodges Jr.


    Eddie Hodges Jr. is an Associate in the Houston office of Kennard Law, P.C., and assists clients across all offices. Mr. ...
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    Lance Blankenship

    Of Counsel

    Mr. Blankenship is a highly experienced employment attorney that represented local businesses and national companies as lead ...
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    Leah Badri


    Leah Badri is a Staff attorney in the Houston office of Kennard Law, P.C. Leah received her J.D. from the University of ...
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    Samantha Cobb


    Samantha Cobb is an Associate attorney in the Houston office of Kennard Law, P.C. A native of Augusta, Georgia, Ms. Cobb ...

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Making Things Right For Employees
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    Our founding attorney, Alfonso Kennard Jr. is board-certified in labor and employment law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

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