When is it OK to be exempt ?

  1. The corporation I work for designates several nursing positions as "exempt" i.e. not eligible for overtime- pretty much paid 8 hrs/day whether you work 1 hr or 10 hrs.
    These are all non-bedside nursing positions, although many of these positions are paid on the same pay scale as a bedside nurse. They are non-supervisory, such as Infection Cntrl nurse, orientation educator, computer educator, wound care specialst, and so on.
    Any experience w/ this subject?
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    About Nurse Beth, MSN, RN

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 1,448; Likes: 4,328


  3. by   llg
    I don't totally understand your question. Can you clarify it a bit? Are you looking for a legal answer as when it is legal for an employer to designate a position as being exempt? If that is the case, then perhaps you should ask a lawyer. On this website, we are mostly nurses -- not legal experts.

    However ... keeping in mind that I am not a lawyer or legal expert ... I believe that the law is very flexible on that. I believe that a wide variety of positions can be designated as "exempt." I have even known bedside staff nurse positions in hospitals to be exempt.

    If you are not looking for the legal answer, but rather for a nurse's opinion on what types of positions I would find it personally acceptable to be in an exempt status ... that's a different story. I have spent almost my entire 30-year nursing career in exempt positions. For me, I am happy in exempt positions because I like the freedom and flexibility of the work hours that my positions have allowed me to have in exchange for being exempt. Yes, I sometimes work more than 8 hours per day, but I can also choose what time I come into work most mornings, I can go out to lunch ocassionally, go to a doctor's/dentist appointment in the middle of the day, etc. I haven't given up the paid overtime etc. without receiving something desirable in exhange.
  4. by   NRSKarenRN
    exempt + non exempt employment status is based on flsa (fair labor standards act) wage laws:

    employer guidelines for determining exempt status and payment of ...
    exempt status is determined by an employee's actual work activities, ... it does require, however, that employers pay non-exempt employees overtime pay at ...

    us gov, dept of labor (dol) regs: see fair pay initiative

    dol nursing regs: nurses
    [s]registered nurses who are paid on an hourly basis should receive overtime pay [/s]

    hiring letter from facility or job description will inform you to type of position.


    nurses hired as non-exempt hourly worker entitled to overtime pay.

    dear nurse nancy:

    we are pleased that you decided to join abc hospital. your rn case manager position will begin on 1/1/07 with salary at $20.00/hour.

    nurses hired as exempt salary worker are not entitled to overtime pay per government.

    dear nurse nancy:

    we are pleased that you decided to join abc hospital. your rn case manager exempt position will begin on 1/1/07 with salary at $41,600 /year.
    my homecare intake rn's are exempt employees. ft staff get paid 40 hrs per week whether they work 3 days or 6 days in a week or only 6 hrs in a day (2 hrs taken as "comp time" to attend personal business).
    this compensates for time they stay over scheduled shift to assist during excess business volume... part of "professional duty" obligations exempt employees/professions incur.

    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Mar 10, '07
  5. by   Nurse Beth
    Thank you, appreciate it
  6. by   Nikki Nurse
    It's O.K. to be exempt if you are willing to work 60 hours per week for straight time! If you make $20.00 per hour you would make $1,200 as an exempt employee; as a non-exempt employee you would make $800 in straight time ( $20 x 40 hours) plus $600 in overtime ($30 x 20 hours) for a total of $1,400.Which are you willing to do? Nurses are considered "professionals" so some will try to trip you up with that. The question is this...Are you paid hourly or salary? If paid hourly I believe they must pay you overtime. Look up Wage and Hour laws for the honest answers.
  7. by   Ginger's Mom
    I am in a management position, I like the autonomy. When I worked staff and had a personal issue ( like an eye exam or a child's function) I would either have to call in sick or take a vacation day. Now I can flex my time. For this to work you have to have a reasonable adminstration.