Friday, February 29, 2008, 5:55 PM

Part-Time Employees and Salary Requirements for Exempt Status

In an opinion letter issued on February 14, 2008, the United States Department of Labor confirmed that an employee is not exempt under the FLSA if the employer provides a prorated salary of less than $455 per week for part-time work. An employer requested an opinion as to whether an employee would qualify as exempt if his hours were reduced to 20 per week with a commensurate reduction in salary to $15,000 annually. Prior to the reduction, the employee was previously paid $30,000 annually for working full-time. The DOL stated that there is no provision in the FLSA which permits reduction of the $455 per week salary requirement when an employee's hours are reduced. An employee must receive a salary of $455 in each week in which he or she performs any work regardless of the number of days or hours worked to qualify as exempt.

Of course, if an employee is only working 20 hours per week, he will not be entitled to overtime under the FLSA. However, employers must still be certain that the employee is receiving at least minimum wage for those hours worked.

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