Top Human Resources Mistakes: #6 Failure to Pay Overtime to Non-Exempt Employees

Posted on by HS We Do That | Category HR

By Rebecca Boartfield and Tim Twigg

We find dentists falling prey to the myth that “if I pay someone a salary, then I don’t have to pay them overtime.” This couldn’t be more false. The method of compensation has no bearing on overtime requirements.

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, employees can be “exempt” or “non-exempt.” All “non-exempt” employees are subject to minimum wage and overtime requirements.

The criteria for classifying an employee “exempt” includes such items as salary amount, managerial control, and ability to exercise independent judgment. Based on these definitions virtually 95% or more of dental employees are “non-exempt” and must be paid overtime.

In most states, overtime begins when the employee has exceeded 40 hours in a week. In Alaska, California, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, and New York, daily overtime requirements are imposed that must also be considered. The daily overtime requirement varies in each one of these states, so it is recommended you check your state’s labor laws to ensure you’re in compliance.

Furthermore, many dentists are not aware that continuing education events attended by staff members also count towards overtime. All time spent in a class/training and, in some cases, travel time is considered work time by the Fair Labor Standards Act and, therefore, it is added to the total daily or weekly hours. In the event all of these hours exceed daily or weekly overtime limits, overtime must be appropriately paid.

Check back next week for another top Human Resources mistake or schedule a free consultation to learn more.

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