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Overtime pitfalls: The lurking traps

A rash of wage-and-hour lawsuits is drawing attention to the often-overlooked complexities of overtime pay laws. Think you don't owe overtime? Check our gallery of potential tripwires.

Illustrations by Terry Allen for Fortune Small Business.

The Cog Factor
Just because your company primarily hires educated, mid-level employees and places them on salary doesn't make you exempt from overtime requirements. If they don't have hiring and firing authority or the ability to dictate policy, they can be considered cogs in the modern workforce wheel - and therefore entitled to overtime.

"It's duties that matter, not titles," says Jill Weinberg, who assists small businesses as the owner of Weinberg Law Firm in Plano, Texas. "You can call someone an assistant manager, but if he doesn't pass the monkey test - if he's following a checklist - he's not exempt."

Last updated January 22 2008: 8:59 AM ET

The $23,660 Rule

"Executive" Assistant

IT Employees

Extra Hours

Telecommuting

Comp Time

Stock Options

The Cog Factor

The Overtime Bomb
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