Professional Employee Exemption to New York Overtime: NYC Wage and Hour Attorney Explains

What is the Professional Employee Exemption to New York Overtime?

Generally, employees must be paid overtime wages for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek.  The overtime rate is time and a half, or 1.5 times, the employee’s regular rate of pay.  Employees who are salaried may also be entitled to overtime.  However, the professional employee exemption to overtime will bar certain employees from being entitled to overtime.  This is an important exemption for employers to know because some professional employees will naturally accumulate overtime hours by virtue of their career.  But it is also important for employees to know who is and who is not considered a professional to ensure that the employee is receiving funds that he or she is lawfully entitled to.

The New York City wage and hour attorneys at the SAMUEL & STEIN have experience handling matters involving New York’s overtime laws.  We know how the exemptions to overtime apply and who is and is not covered under the exemption.  To learn more how we can help you, call us today by dialing (646) 681-4193.

What is the Professional Employee Exemption to Overtime?

Individuals who qualify for the professional employee exemption to overtime are not entitled to receive overtime wages for hours worked over 40 in a workweek.  To qualify for the professional employee exemption, there are two main requirements which both must be met.

1) The individual’s primary duty must consist of work that a) requires knowledge of an advanced type of “field of science or learning” which is customarily acquired by a prolonged course of intellectual instruction and study, OR b) is original and creative in a recognized field of artistic endeavor, and therefore products a result that depends primarily on the invention, imagination, or talent of the individual.

2) The individual’s must a) require the consistent exercise of discretion and judgment, b) is predominately intellectual and varied in character, AND c) is of a character that the output produced or the result accomplished cannot be standardized in relation to a given period of time.

Both of these requirements must be met in order for the employee to satisfy the professional employee exemption to overtime in New York.

What does “Field of Science or Learning” Mean and What Professionals are Commonly Included?

The phrase “field of science or learning” is used to delineate certain professions that you may commonly associated with advanced education, skill, and experience.  These careers which typically satisfy the field of science and learning as well as constitute a “profession” include the following:

  • Medicine/medical field;
  • Legal field;
  • Theology;
  • Accounting/CPAs;
  • Engineers;
  • Architects;
  • Teachers;
  • Physical, chemical, and biological science careers;
  • Pharmacists;
  • Actuarial computation; and
  • Other possible professionals.

Not Sure if You Are Entitled to New York Overtime Because of the Professional Employee Exemption?  Call us Today!

The experienced New York City Wage and Hour attorneys at SAMUEL & STEIN are dedicated to asserting and defending the rights of employers and working people throughout New York and New Jersey.  We have the resources, experience, and knowledge necessary to ensure your legal rights are protected and you are not taken advantage of.  Call us today by dialing (646) 480-2149 or use the convenient “Evaluate Now” box on our webpage.  Together we can help answer your questions and protect your rights.

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