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Overtime Laws for Salaried Employees


If you are an hourly worker, you probably understand that you are supposed to receive time and a half when you work in excess of forty hours per week. However, you may think that salary based employees are exempt from these requirements. Many businesses uphold they pay salaried employees to complete their job in however much time is necessary. In North Carolina, not understanding the impact of overtime laws can be a dangerous mistake for both employers and employees.

Overtime laws and employee types

Our firm recently represented a group of salaried employees who alleged their employer failed to pay overtime for their work. The employer contended that the employees were exempt from overtime wages. We obtained a $65,000 settlement from their employer which netted each employee more than their owed overtime wages.

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Being a salaried employee does not exclude employers from paying overtime requirements unless you are exempt. Under the North Carolina Wage and Hour Act, is subject to significant consequences for failing to pay wages. This means an employee can recover double the overtime amount owed unless the employer had reasonable grounds for withholding pay. A court can also order that your employer to pay your attorney fees as well.

Exempt employees must have a guaranteed salary of $455.00 per workweek – this is why hourly employees are generally not exempt. The Fair Labor Standards Act states that because salary is not guaranteed, these employees are in a specific category of exemption. The primary categories consist of executive (supervisory) employees, administrative employees, and certain professional, outside sales, and computer employees. Law firms, for example, deal with this issue every day as paralegals. Despite their tremendous importance to any law firm, they are not exempt employees.

If you are salaried and working over 40 hours per week or not receiving a guaranteed minimum salary in excess of $455.00/$913.00, you may be able to recover additional wages. While the Department of Labor and the North Carolina Wage and Hour Division often fail to obtain lost wages, Maginnis Law can help.

Maginnis Howard is a Raleigh-based firm that is proud to have the trust of employers and employees from all over the Triangle. Contact the firm at (919) 526-0450 or send an email to We understand overtime laws and can help you.