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Can an owner of a company who meets Salaried/Exempt requirements pay themselves less than 455.00/wk

Can an owner of a company who meets test for Salaried/Exempt and is setup for such pay themselves less that the Federal set amount of 455.00 for weekly employee?


  • This is maybe complicated.

    • Anyone can be paid as non-exempt, subject to minimum wage and overtime. Microsoft could treat Bill Gates as non-exempt.
    • You are never forced to make someone Exempt, but failure to so means that the normal MW/OT rules are in effect.
    • Everything I have said so far is black letter law. What gives me a little concern is you being an "owner". Depending on a lot of things I am not really good at, owners are not necessarily employees. If you are not legally an employee, then the normal FLSA rules are off the table (replaced with some different rules). This part is more of a Pat Haggerty question. All of my payroll experience is with corporations.
  • Hi David,
    Thanks for the referral -

    Business owner is one of the exceptions to the salary requirement that generally applies to the executive exemption.

    29 CFR 541.101 and 102

    §541.101 Business owner.
    The term “employee employed in a bona fide executive capacity” in section 13(a)(1) of the Act also includes any employee who owns at least a bona fide 20-percent equity interest in the enterprise in which the employee is employed, regardless of whether the business is a corporate or other type of organization, and who is actively engaged in its management. The term “management” is defined in §541.102. The requirements of Subpart G (salary requirements) of this part do not apply to the business owners described in this section.

    §541.102 Management.
    Generally, “management” includes, but is not limited to, activities such as interviewing, selecting, and training of employees; setting and adjusting their rates of pay and hours of work; directing the work of employees; maintaining production or sales records for use in supervision or control; appraising employees' productivity and efficiency for the purpose of recommending promotions or other changes in status; handling employee complaints and grievances; disciplining employees; planning the work; determining the techniques to be used; apportioning the work among the employees; determining the type of materials, supplies, machinery, equipment or tools to be used or merchandise to be bought, stocked and sold; controlling the flow and distribution of materials or merchandise and supplies; providing for the safety and security of the employees or the property; planning and controlling the budget; and monitoring or implementing legal compliance measures.

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