Q. Does the new salary threshold of $455 a week (under which employees are automatically eligible for overtime) hold true even if the person works part time, say one or two days a week? We have employees who meet the professional exemption, but they work part time and wouldn't reach the $455 threshold. —L.S., Pennsylvania
A. If an employee works only one or two days per week, he or she probably won't ever work more than 40 hours in any week. So, it doesn't really matter whether you treat these part-timers as exempt or nonexempt for overtime purposes.
But what if your part-timer, who is clearly exempt, occasionally works more than 40 hours in a week? In such cases, you have two choices: First, you could simply pay the part-time employee at a time-and-a-half rate for all hours worked beyond 40 for that week. Second, you could rely on Labor Department rules that say exempt status is determined on a week-by-week basis, and pay that employee a salary for the week. Your choice will likely be motivated more by employee morale than the legal requirements.