Human Resource Compensation and Benefits

One of the most prominent topics in talent management is wages. The human resource team must always develop a wage system that is fair to every position in the organization. It must incorporate those that work overtime by compensating them for the extra hours. Therefore, HR must identify the employees that are exempt and non-exempt to overtime pay.

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1. What is the difference between exempt and nonexempt jobs? Explain according to the law.

The law stipulates the average working hours a day for employees. It also dictates the wage that defines employees that are exempt and the nonexempt. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provides for minimum wages, maximum hours, overtime pay, and child labor protections. Understanding the legal definition of exempt and nonexempt is vital for managers because it helps them determine whether to pay or not to compensate for overtime.

Exempt employees are those exempt from the FLSA or certain provisions of the act and particularly from the act’s overtime provisions. A person’s exemption depends on their responsibilities and salary. Legally, bona fide executive, administrative, and professional employees are generally exempt from the overtime and minimum wage requirements of the FLSA act (Starich, 2018). On the other hand, the non-exempt employees must be paid minimum wage and overtime pay if they work beyond 40 hours a week. These employees are covered by FLSA (Plump, 2010). In summary, the non-exempt employees are eligible for overtime pay while the exempt employees are not.

In conclusion, being exempt or nonexempt determines whether an employee should get compensated for overtime. In many cases, organizations require employees to apply for overtime in their will. The employee should also be paid the hourly rate according to the state or federal laws that apply if worked overtime.

2. Will the new 2020 overtime rule solve this manager’s overtime problem? How much he will receive for the regular shift and overtime? Can he be considered for meal period leaves? Please, provide your calculations.

Overtime payment has been a largely debated issue for the last several years. In most cases, employees find it hard to work overtime when the organization fails to compensate them for the worked hours. It is, therefore, necessary for HR to consider that working overtime and compensate them effectively to avoid turnover.

The new overtime rule will not solve the manager’s overtime problem. The government raised the standard salary level from $455 per week to $684 per week, equivalent to $35,568 per year for a full-year worker (U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, 2019). The manager is earning about $37,000 per year, which is above the threshold to be categorized as exempt. The new rule does not help the manager become non-exempt because he occupies an administrative or executive position and his salary exceeds the threshold. In other words, he will receive the same salary as 2019 ($37,000 per year) and no overtime pay. Only the overtime-eligible employees working more than five consecutive hours in a work shift are entitled to an unpaid meal period of at least thirty minutes (Mccoy, 2022). During the overtime, they should have an additional unpaid thirty-minute meal period. Therefore, the manager would not be considered for meal period leave because he is not eligible for overtime.

In conclusion, understanding the limits of overtime eligibility is crucial for managers and employees. It would be wrong for a company to require managers to work overtime and deny them overtime compensation. The employees should seek to understand whether their overtime work would be considered for compensation.

3. If you had been this manager, what argument might you have made, in 2019, that even though you were earning more than the then-minimum of $23,660 per year, you should not have been considered an exempt employee? Explain your answer.

Trump’s rule on overtime compensation changed a lot of things, including leaving millions of workers out of the overtime eligibility bracket. Some workers who were eligible for overtime in 2019 because ineligible after the rule. Similarly, some who were initially ineligible became eligible under the new rule. It is essential to understand the reasons an employee can use to argue against their overtime-ineligibility status.

The manager can argue based on job duties. The shop has four employees, so their input is significant in running the daily operations. Without a single employee at any given time, the others would get affected negatively by having to deal with more duties and roles. Once the manager loses one of the four employees, he has to step in and take over the missing employee’s duties to ensure operations run smoothly. Without his overtime work, the shop’s operations would get impacted massively. Thus, it is reasonable to consider him as nonexempt.

Despite the existence of a threshold established by FLSA to determine who exempt or nonexempt, an employee is can argue based on the duties to be considered nonexempt. If the role he/she plays during the overtime is critical for the effective running of the entity, the employer should consider compensating them for the overtime worked.

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4. Access relevant websites to determine what equitable pay ranges are for these jobs: chemical engineer, marketing manager, and HR manager, all with a bachelor’s degree and 5 years of experience. Do so for the following cities: New York, New York; San Francisco, California; Houston, Texas; Miami, Florida. For each position in each city, what are the pay ranges and the average pay? Does geography impact the salaries of the different positions? If so, how?

The equitable pay range differs on various factors. Experience is one of the determinants of how much an employee receives from a certain job position. Another factor is their educational qualification. Overall, the job duties and skills needed play a crucial role in an employee’s wage. The table below summarizes the equitable pay ranges for various positions in different states in the United States.

The average pay and pay range for chemical engineer is as follows: Miami: $77,049 and $70,216 – $84,804, respectively; Houston: $81,124 and $73,930 – $89,290, respectively; New York: $98,932 and $90,158 – $108,890, respectively; San Francisco: $98,932 and $90,158 – $108,890, respectively. The average pay and pay range for marketing manager is as follows: New York: $132,811 and $115,721 – $156,364, respectively; Miami: $107,475 and $93,645 to $126,535, respectively; Houston: $113,160 and $98,598 to $133,228, respectively; San Francisco: $138,000 and $120,242 to $162,473, respectively. The average pay and pay range for HR manger is as follows: New York: $132,755 and $117,853 to $148,978, respectively; San Francisco: $137,941 and $122,457 and $154,798, respectively; Miami: $107,430 and $95,370 to $120,558, respectively; Houston: $113,112 and $100,415 to $126,934, respectively (, 2019). Geography impacts salaries of different positions. In cities where most large companies are located, labor supply for top executive positions such as HR manager and marketing manager is high. New York City has headquarters for major companies, hence more demand for individuals with these skills.

In conclusion, equitable pay ranges differ with states. Some states have a higher demand for certain skills, hence causing the wages to be significantly higher as well. In other states, there are few companies hence the less demand for executive positions, which creates downward pressure on wages.

Research the unemployment rate and laws of your state. Write a summary detailing your state’s unemployment laws. Assuming Company X has a 30% rate of personnel terminations, calculate Company X’s unemployment tax rate in your state. Explain how you would go about minimizing Company X’s unemployment insurance tax.

 In Florida, an unemployed individual is eligible to receive benefits for any week if he or she makes a claim for benefits that week and has completed the online work registration (, n.d.). To be eligible for Florida’s unemployment benefits, one must be a resident of the state, be unemployed, have worked in the state for the past 12 months, earned a minimum amount of wages, have lost their job through no fault of their own and be able to work.

The maximum benefit any individual can earn is $275 per week. The maximum time for collecting unemployment benefits is capped at 12 weeks. An employee must have earned a minimum of $3,400 in the base period of their unemployment claim. Any eligible individual can file an appeal if denied benefits.

To minimize the unemployment insurance cost, I would consider the following: outsourcing unemployment claims, taking proactive steps to prevent layoffs, practicing good HR strategies, and considering voluntary payments and a work-sharing program.


Compensation and benefits for employees is a critical employment issue in any industry. Organizations use them to improve their talent management practices while minimizing operational costs as much as possible. Even as the average wage differs from one state to another, companies must ensure they adhere to the state and federal guidelines on overtime and compensation. Government revisions on FLSA guidelines will remain impactful and more consequential in some jobs than others.

References (n.d.). Statutes & Constitution :View Statutes : Online Sunshine. Retrieved May 8, 2022, from

Mccoy, R. (2022). California’s (Improper) Regulation of Pilot and Flight Attendant Rest. The Air and Space Lawyer, 34(3).

Plump, C. M. (2010). Dealing with problem employees: A legal guide for employers. Business Horizons, 53(6), 607–618. (2019). Salary Research and Career Advice |

Starich, M. (2018). Understand DOL’s latest guidance on FLSA overtime pay in higher ed. Campus Legal Advisor, 18(11), 4–5.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR. (2019). Final Rule: Overtime Update | U.S. Department of Labor.

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