You asked: “Can or should an insurance agency pay overtime for staff in clerical positions such as receptionist, Account Manager, CSR, processors, etc.?”
The answer: If they are non-exempt (hourly), yes! In fact, you must. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) says you must pay overtime to non-exempt (hourly) employees who work more than 40 hours in a work week.
So how can you be sure an employee is non-exempt? Basically, if they are hourly, they are non-exempt. But you can’t go wrong if you start by assuming everyone is non-exempt, then look for the job duties and responsibilities that may fall within one or more of the exemptions of the FLSA (learned professional, administrative and executive employees).
To be exempt from overtime laws (state or Federal), an employee must (a) be paid at least $23,600 per year ($455 per week), and (b) be paid on a salary basis, and also (c) perform exempt job duties. These tasks include the authority to make independent decisions on matters which affect the business as a whole, including but not limited to supervising, hiring and firing. Put simply, exempt employees perform relatively high-level work.
Everyone else is non-exempt and is covered by the FLSA. The employees must be paid at a rate not less than time and one-half their regular rate of pay.
If you would like more detailed information about the Federal laws, visit the United States Department of Labor website at http://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime_pay.htm. You can find more information about state laws by visiting your state’s “Division of Labor” or “Department of Labor” website.
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