This three-part series highlights the steps startups should take before hiring their first employee. Part One of this series focused on several of the federal and local filings and registrations that new employers will need to make in preparation for their first hires. In this Part Two, we’re diving into drafting job descriptions and their use in determining whether a position should be classified as exempt or non-exempt under federal and local wage and hour laws.
A well-drafted job description provides employees and employers alike with a wealth of information, including the necessary qualifications, responsibilities, and pay rate of the relevant position. The drafting alone is a great exercise for small companies to think about how they want to distribute their work. Job descriptions can also serve the basis for – and later support – the classification of a position as exempt under wage and hour laws.
The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) provides, among other things, that employees are entitled to a federal minimum wage and an overtime rate of compensation for any week in which s/he works more than 40 hours. Most states have local wage and hour laws that mirror, if not provide more protection than, the FLSA. Some employees, however, are exempt from the FLSA’s overtime pay regulations. Although the FLSA identifies a number of exemptions, the most common exemptions are the executive, administrative, professional, computer and outside sales exemptions.
To qualify for any one of these exemptions, a position must satisfy the specific exemption’s