Know your rights.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law that establishes minimum wage and overtime pay for certain eligible employees.
Under FLSA, employees who do not fall within the executive, administrative, and professional category are non-exempt employees who must be paid minimum wage and overtime pay for hours over 40 in a work week.
These non-exempt employees include paraprofessionals, secretaries, food service workers, and custodians. Exempt employees, on the other hand, generally include school librarians, speech pathologists, occupational and physical therapists, school psychologists, dietitians, nurses, and certain executive administrative assistants.
An employee’s status under the FLSA has nothing to do with bargaining units because, in Maryland, bargaining units are defined through negotiations between the district and your local education association within the parameters provided in law.
In the case of non-certificated bargaining units, both exempt and non-exempt employees may be in the same bargaining unit — for example: paraprofessionals, dietitians, and nurses. Supervisory and non-supervisory employees may not be in the same unit.*
Because both exempt and non-exempt employees can be in the same bargaining unit, collective bargaining agreements may have to address employees differently regarding overtime pay and compensation time. For example, employers might agree during collective bargaining to provide comp time to non-exempt employees instead of paying overtime. Similarly, employers may provide comp time to exempt employees who are not otherwise entitled to overtime pay. The FLSA sets the minimum requirements which may be exceeded through collective bargaining.
*All employees of a local board of education must be assigned a bargaining unit. Exceptions are the superintendent, management, and confidential employees.