Exempt or Non-Exempt: An Exercise Exploring the Fair Labor Standards Act


  • Kenneth M York Oakland University
  • Jennifer Thor Oakland University


The law that governs whether a job in the private sector or Federal, State, or local governments is required to be paid overtime is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). A key task for organizations is to determine and then document whether a job is non-exempt (i.e., the employee is entitled to overtime) or exempt (i.e., the employee is not entitled to overtime). This experiential exercise is designed to help students learn what defines an exempt job by reviewing the detailed job descriptions and median national wages for a set of jobs taken from O*NET On-Line, and then classifying each job as exempt or non-exempt.

Author Biography

Kenneth M York, Oakland University

Professor of Management

School of Business Administration