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How to Determine if an Employee Qualifies for the Executive Exemption

Authors: Michael Cardman, XpertHR Legal Editor, and Allen S. Kinzer, Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP

When most people think of an "executive," they probably think of somebody like a CEO, a president, or a regional manager of a large company. But within the context of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), several kinds of employees can be considered an executive as long as they meet certain criteria. For example, employees like convenience store managers, chefs and construction superintendents who might not otherwise be exempt can qualify as executives if they manage a business or a department and direct the work of at least two employees, among other things. Follow these steps to determine whether an employee qualifies for the executive exemption.

Note: Effective December 1, 2016, new FLSA regulations will raise the minimum weekly salary for exempt executive employees from $455 to $913. This minimum salary level will be adjusted every three years.