Understanding the Difference Between Exempt and Non-exempt Employee

In any organization, employees are normally classified into excuse and non-exempt. There is a considerable deviation between the two, not then much in terms of work setting, but a lot when it comes to claiming employee benefits. To put it in simple terms, the difference between an nontaxable employee and a non-exempt one is whether or not a person is eligible for overtime give. In this dispatch guide, we will talk about what is an excuse employee, who is a non-exempt one, excuse vanadium non-exempt employee, and much more .

Who is an Exempt Employee?

The first motion to ask while figuring out the difference between an nontaxable employee and a non-exempt employee, is this ; what does being an excuse employee mean ? These are the ones who are not entitled to receive overtime give as per the Fair Labor Standards Act or FLSA. As per the requirements of FLSA, every employer is required to pay minimal wages if the employee works a 40-hour workweek unless the latter falls under the category of an excuse employee. While this is a federal act with sealed rules and regulations laid out with deference to overtime pay, it has to be noted that divide states besides have their own wage laws in place. For the organizations in such states, both the FLSA laws and state wage laws are followed. basically, these are the ones who receive a wage for the work performed and are not eligible for any minimal pay or even overtime pay. There are three basic things that make an employee exempt :

  • An exempt employee gets a fixed salary
  • They must be getting a salary that is equal to or more than the salary limit set by FLSA
  • To earn the said salary, these employees must complete the job requirements stated

We can foster categorize an excuse employee :


An executive-level employee who normally supervises at least two or more full-time employees or four or more full-time employees on a regular basis. They are besides the ones who are in charge of at least one part of the occupation of the administration and are besides involved in the lease serve, to some extent .


An administrative employee is one who is immediately involved in the management of the organization and is creditworthy for taking authoritative commercial enterprise decisions, without being answerable to another person for their acts .

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now, these are a little unlike from the two aforesaid categories. Professional exempt employees are those who are trained or specialized in certain areas and either have a professional academic degree in the field or enough experience, endowment, and creativity to perform their occupation duties .


This is a simple one. If you have employed employees in a computer-related or an information technology character, they are qualified under this class .


This category includes employees who meet the minimum doorway of FLSA ’ s minimum delegate wage for highly compensated employees. They have non-manual job responsibilities and oversee at least one executive, professional, or administrative degree employee .

Outside Sales Exemption

These are those nontaxable employees whose independent duty is to procure external contracts or make sales. basically, their job happens outside the administration ’ s four walls, even though their responsibilities and accountability is towards the company .

What are the Overtime Payment Guidelines as Per the 2020 Change in FLSA?

It is to be noted that the aforesaid categories come under the definition of an nontaxable employee now after FLSA has been amended. This switch is brought into effect since January 1, 2020, and states that the follow will be considered exempt employees, going forth :

  • Executives
  • Administrative employees
  • Professional employees
  • Salespeople
  • Science, engineering, technology, maths employees

far, the aforementioned should qualify the pursue three conditions :

  • Employers pay them a salary for their work
  • These employees earn at least $684 every week
  • Employers DO NOT pay these employees on an hourly basis (have a fixed salary as mentioned above)

If any employee falls in the above-mentioned categories and fulfills the conditions, they will not be eligible for overtime as per FLSA. An exempt employee, in essentials, is an employee of the company with fixed responsibilities and compensation, across designations. now, let ’ s spill the beans about a non-exempt employee .

Who is a Non-exempt Employee?

A non-exempt employee is the opposition of an excuse employee. These employees receive overtime wage as per the laws of the Fair Labor Standards Act. not precisely the FLSA status, such employees besides need to check their respective submit ’ s laws with respect to non-exemptions. normally, as per the law, if the numeral of working hours exceed 40 in a workweek, employers have to pay meter and a half. This time and a half is over and above the minimum federal engage that the organization has to pay to a non-exempt employee for the total of hours worked .

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Examples to Cite the Difference between Exempt and Non-exempt Employees

exempt employee The basic remainder between an excuse employee and a non-exempt employee is while the former is not eligible for flex time or overtime, the latter is. apart from that, here are a few examples to further explain the concept of an nontaxable vanadium non-exempt employee .

  • Examples of exempt executives: CEO, Supervisor, Manager
  • Some examples of exempt administrative employees: Human Resource, Accounts, Legal, Public Relations
  • Some examples of exempt professional/creative employees: Chartered Accountants, Doctors, Lawyers, Writers, Musicians
  • Examples of exempt sales/outside employees: Salesperson, Marketer
  • Some examples of computer-related job employees: Software Engineers, System Analysts

On the early hand, here are examples of a non-exempt employee : Freelancers, Interns, Retail Associates, Contractors .

What are the Pros and Cons of Hiring an Exempt Employee?

To understand the deviation, it is besides authoritative to understand the benefits and drawbacks of hiring both. apart from having dispatch information, both legal and otherwise, knowing the pros and cons further helps in hiring decisions for unlike roles. here are the pros :

  • The major benefit is that you can ask the employees to fulfill certain job responsibilities for fixed pay, and they are accountable for the same
  • Exempt employees’ salaries are fixed costs to the company
  • For the employees, it serves as a stable source of income and a static career path

hera the cons :

  • The major drawback of this system is from the perspective of the employee. An exempt employee does not enjoy the flexibility and benefits which a non-exempt one enjoys
  • On the other hand, exempt employees often cost more to the organization than non-exempt ones. This is because they have to exercise certain authority and judgment in the way they do their jobs

What are the Pros and Cons of Hiring a Non-exempt Employee?

here are the pros of hiring a non-exempt employee :

  • Contrary to popular opinion, it is actually a non-exempt employee that offers flexibility to the organization as there are fixed rates for fixed hours and a certain level of quality and quantity of work
  • As far as the employees are concerned, you pay them for the exact work that they do and even if they go a little overboard you pay them in the form of overtime pay
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here are the cons of hiring a non-exempt employee :

  • Lack of consistency is a drawback that can hamper both employer and employee here
  • Non-exempt employees do not come with the certainty and stability of exempt employees

The bottom line on exempt vs non-exempt employee

exempt employee The independent theme behind understanding the difference between exempt and non-exempt employees is knowing whom to pay overtime and whom to not. exempt ones, provided they fulfill the criteria, are excuse from receiving overtime. On the other hand, the non-exempt ones are not. Exempt employees are the usual compensable employees while non-exempt employees come in the form of contractual workers and freelancers. After understanding the concept and differences between employees who are exempt and non-exempt, it becomes easier for the organizations to hire the right employees for the right job. This not lone saves up costs but ensures optimum productivity, in synchronize with the goals of the administration .


here are the answers to some of the most coarse questions on exempt five non-exempt employees : Q. Is an exempt employee eligible for flex time and overtime? A. Flextime is a concept which allows employees to choose their start and end clock. Flextime and overtime, both are facilities for both the employees, nontaxable or non-exempt. Q. Is there any special tax status for exempt employees? A. No, there is no special tax status for them. Q. Can you suspend an exempt employee without pay? A. Unless the sign says differently, you can suspend them without pay, particularly if they have defied any company rules and regulations .

Do you need to know about the exempt vs non-exempt employee debate?

Yes, for you to hire the right person for the proper job and know what it will cost the administration and whether it is worth it, it is absolutely authoritative that you understand the dispute between the two.

Do you have exempt and non-exempt employees at work ? How do you frame the pay contracts for them ? Do let us know @ HarmonizeHQ