As good jobs have become more and more scarce due to manufacturing outsourcing and international trade deficits, employers are beginning to realize the benefits of a surplus in the labor force. Eventually if we have more people looking for jobs than what is available, we have a situation in which the wages of the laborer will drop due to increased demand for work. There are however, certain protections in favor of a minimum wage with the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act, which establishes a minimum wage at $7.25 per hour, with few exceptions. Along with minimum wage, this federal law also establishes the requirement that employees be paid overtime wages, that is time and one-half, for every hour worked passed a 40 hour work week. A common Misconception among employers is that they can simply bypass this overtime pay requirement by classifying their employee as Salary based pay. In this situation employers simply pay their employees a fixed amount of pay every week regardless of amount of hours worked. The first criteria that must be met in order to qualify for overtime exemption is that the employee must be paid a minimum of $455 per week. Depending on their job description and actual duties performed, there are many other criteria that must be met. There are also times when hours are transferred from one work week to the next to avoid going over the 40 hours in one week. This also is not allowed. Regardless of what you employer has said or made you agree to, overtime pay may not be waived. If you worked it, you earned it. If you have any questions or concerns that your rights may have been violated, feel free to call The Vargas Law Office for a free consultation.