Exempt vs. Non-Exempt

Learn about Exempt vs. Non-Exempt and more with Workstream and improve your hiring vocabulary. Workstream helps companies hire better, faster - everyday.
Schedule a Demo Try Workstream for Free

In the work environment, there are generally two classifications of employees. An employee is either “exempt” or “non-exempt”. Knowing the distinction between the two has its benefits. For employers, it will give a clearer picture of your responsibilities. If you are an employee, it will empower you to know what you are entitled to, what to expect, and what not to expect. Let’s talk about what those are. 

What is Exempt vs. Non-Exempt? 

When we talk about “exempt vs. non-exempt”, it is essentially about comparing the two different types of employee classification. 

It is important to know how an employee falls into each category. Three factors determine if an employee is exempt or non-exempt. 

Satisfying all three factors above is required to consider an individual to be an exempt employee.

What is the importance of knowing whether an employee is exempt or non-exempt? 

It is important to know whether an employee is exempt or non-exempt because it has a lot to do with wages. The primary difference between the two is that exempt employees do not qualify for minimum wage and they are also not entitled to overtime pay. 

Who are exempt employees? 

As per FLSA standards, employers are not legally required to pay exempt employees for overtime hours. While this is the law, employers can still choose to give overtime pay to exempt employees. But they do not have to. 

Who are non-exempt employees? 

Non-exempt employees are usually paid by the hour. According to the FLSA, non-exempt employees are entitled to overtime pay and also qualify for the minimum wage requirements. The current federal minimum wage for 2021 is $7.25 per hour. For any work done that is over 40 hours per workweek, employers need to pay non-exempt employees no less than time and a half of the employee’s regular rate per hour.

Please note that there are states in the U.S. that have expanded the guidelines and have set their standards regarding state minimum wage and overtime pay. Employers are responsible for finding out these guidelines and adhering to both federal and state laws. 

Try out Workstream to hire employees for
your business

A revolutionary hiring process for Hourly positions

A revolutionary hiring process for Hourly positions Hiring hourly staff in San Francisco can be a tough job. Workstream can help accelerate the process by letting you post on job boards like Indeed within seconds.


1-Click Job Posting

No more tedious copy and pasting. We integrate with all the top job boards. All applicants funnel into one intuitive dashboard.

Text-to-Apply Posters

Print out your unique QR code and text message number. Applicants scan/text to see all open positions and apply right away.

Automated & 2-Way SMS

Engage with applicants via text. Include links to screening questions, forms, and more. Use 2-way text to answer questions.

Endless Integrations

Connect Workstream to your calendar so applicants can schedule interviews. Streamline onboarding with background check & HR integrations.

Candidate Tracking & Scoring

View all your applicants and employees in one place. Make notes on their progress. Access their docs anytime from anywhere.

Customizable Templates

We provide templates for everything from job postings to offer letters. Send links to docs and tax forms via text message so new hires sign digital copies.

What other owners
think about hiring through Workstream

"Workstream is user-friendly which helps with mass recruiting as managers can log on and look at applicants, as well as leave me notes on who they would like to interview. "


Willamette Valley Vineyards


Currently hiring on Workstream for:

Harvest Lab Intern

Tasting Room Lead

Labor Helper

"Ease of access for our applicants. This is the biggest selling point for us."


Chick-fil-A | Lebanon


Currently hiring on Workstream for:

Day Shift Kitchen Team Member

Day Shift Front of House Team Member

Night Shift Kitchen Team Member

"Easy to post jobs and we have gotten quite a few responses. "


Lasalle Bristol


Currently hiring on Workstream for:

Molding Press Operator - Week Days

Press Operator

Assembly Operator Day Shift