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Hourly pay for highly paid workers

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in Human Resources

Q. We want to hire certain highly paid workers at an hourly rate, but we don’t want to pay overtime at time and a half. These workers would perform exempt duties for purposes of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). What are our options?

Typically, FLSA exemptions require the employee to not only perform exempt duties, but also be paid on a salary basis. One exception to this rule for which a salary is required is for certain computer-related occupations, which can be compensated on an hourly basis as long as the hourly rate is at least $27.63.

Another possibility, applicable to most white-collar exemptions, is to pay them on an hourly basis with a guaranteed weekly minimum that is reasonably related to what the workers would earn in a normal week. In this situation, if the employees work more than the minimum, they only need to be paid the straight hourly rate, not time and a half. This regulation also permits employers to offer additional compensation to exempt employees who are paid on a salary basis without jeopardizing the exemption.

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