While the increase in the salary test threshold will lead to more workers being eligible for overtime pay, it is important to remember that the salary level isn’t the only criteria on which to base an employee’s exempt status. Employees must also be proven to be paid on a salary basis, as well as pass the duties test. The duties test determines if an employee performs exempt job duties in one of three categories – executive, professional and administrative. These job duties are not based on the employee’s job description but on the duties actually performed on a regular basis.
The FLSA is a federal-level guideline. Each state is able to establish their own standards for qualifying as exempt from overtime. Cases in which the state and federal guidelines differ, whether that difference is the salary level or stricter duties included in the duties test, the stricter standard will apply.