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Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20395
Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law
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In regard to the labor laws, is it true that you can only be

Customer Question

In regard to the labor laws, is it true that you can only be on salary if you are the owner of the business, a supervisor or an employee who makes a 6 figure salary? Could could you give me where this is found in the Labor Laws?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.


Thank you for the information and your question. It is not entirely true that an employee can only be categorized as an exempt employee (salaried) employee on in those circumstances, but those are over generalizations of the rules. The rules themselves are extremely complex and very fact specific. As a paralegal you could potentially be considered exempt under some circumstances, however, an employer is never required to make any employee exempt, even managers. In other words, the law only prohibits certain employees from being categorized as exempt, it does not mandate certain employees be identified as exempt. The reason for the distinction is that the law of wages is actually more favorable for non-exempt (hourly) employees. I requires that non-exempt employees be paid for every minute/hour they work and they are entitled to overtime pay for hours worked in excess of 40. On the other hand, exempt employees are paid the same whether they work 30 hours a week or 80 hours a week. So, from a legal perspective, non-exempt employees have more rights and that is why the law only restricts who can be made an exempt employee and does not limit an employer from making all employees non-exempt if they choose.

All that said, if you want to see the very detailed and fact specific discussion of what the DOL uses to decide if someone is lawfully made an exempt employee you can find it at the following link. A paralegal would fit under the administrative, etc., category. But again, no requirement that an employer make them exempt and many paralegals wouldn't qualify as exempt based on their pay, specific duties, and level of discretion, which are all key factors of the exemption. There are pass through links that take you to more detailed pages.

Please feel free to ask follow up questions if you have them. If none, the if you could take a moment to leave a positive rating in the box above, I will receive credit for assisting you today. Thank you

Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.

Hello again,

I wanted to touch base with you and make sure that you did not have any follow up questions for me from the answer I provided to you on the 6th. For some reason, the Experts are not always getting replies or ratings (at the top of the question/answer page you are viewing or in the pop up box for this question), which is how we get credit(paid by the Site) for our work, that the customer thinks have gone through. In your case I received neither. If you are having technical difficulties with reading, replying or rating, please let me know so that I can inform the Site administrator. Please note that Site use works best while using a computer and using either Google Chrome or Firefox.

In any event, it was a pleasure assisting you and I would be glad to attempt to assist you further on this issue, or a new legal issue, if needed. You can bookmark my page at:

Thank you.