There are a number of areas in the work environment that are affected differently when looking at exempt and non-exempt status. These include: overtime, compensatory time off, incentives for non-exempt employees, training time, and travel time. Two benefits that are the same regardless are the family medical leave act (FMLA) and unemployment benefits.
The regulations are the same for both groups of employees. (Barada, 2011)“Employees whose jobs are governed by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) are either “exempt” or “non-exempt”. (FLSA, 2003)” In an organization normally the line staff are non-exempt and the supervisors, managers, and executive level employees are exempt. Not all employees are subject to the FLSA if they are covered under another Act.“The current FLSA regulation used to identify whether or not a job qualifies for exempt status identifies five categories of exempt jobs: executive, administrative, professional, computer employees, and outside sales. (Mathis & Jackson, 2008)Exempt employees are paid the same amount regardless if they work 30 hours or 60 hours. Normally, they are expected to remain at work until the job is complete. Employers do not have to pay exempt employees overtime.
Non-exempt employees are entitled to no less than minimum wage and overtime pay which must be paid by their employers for any hours over 40 each week.An exempt employee normally supervises others and non-exempt employees normally are told what to do in their job function. An exempt employee usually hires, fires, or promotes staff that work for them. That being said, it is not always the case and in fact “there are white collar that have sued and won in court for overtime pay.
(Mathis & Jackson, 2008)”Compensatory time off in the private sector as long as it is equivalent to one and one-half times the individual’s hourly salary is an alternative to overtime pay. Exempt employees in the private sector are not offered this benefit.Incentives for non-exempt employees must be based off an individual’s base pay plus any overtime that was worked during the incentive period. Exempt employees may or may not be paid incentive pay but it is based off salary.
Also, exempt employees can be given incentives while excluding non-exempt employees.Training time as long as it has relates to the individuals work and is not college classes the individuals is taking to earn a degree must count towards the individuals workday. For exempt employees this is just part of their normal day. Travel time, like training, must be paid as part of the non-exempt’s workday.
There are caveats to this, like if the travel takes place after hours or the individual is a passenger. Exempt employees are also entitled to travel time.The primary difference between exempt and non-exempt employees in regards to FLSA is pay. For an organization exempt employee pay is easier to deal with because it is straight forward. They are paid to do a job regardless of the time it takes them to do it.
On the other hand, non-exempt employees have a number of difference regulations that must be adhered to when dealing with pay. Non-exempt employees are covered by regulations set forth where exempt employees are not although organizations tend to treat all employees the same to make it easier for human resources.