Is the position exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act? The Fair Labor Standards Act is a federal statute that requires employers to pay employees a minimum wage or overtime compensation if they work beyond 40 hours in a workweek unless they are exempt. In which case, the employees still have to make the minimum wage, but they’re not entitled to overtime. A number of employers may classify certain mid-level positions as exempt when they might not be. A lot of times, HR departments will go onto the Department of Labor Website and take the test online but not check with an attorney on whether their conclusion is correct.