Wisconsin Minimum Wage and Overtime Exemptions




Executive exemption

Wisconsin exempts executive employees from its overtime requirements. To qualify as an executive employee, an employee must:

  • have primary duties which consist of the management of the enterprise in which he or she is employed or of a customarily recognized department of subdivision thereof; and
  • customarily and regularly direct the work of 2 or more other employees therein; and
  • have the authority to hire or fire other employees or whose suggestions and recommendations as to the hiring or firing and as to the advancement and promotion or any other change of status of other employees will be given particular weight; and
  • customarily and regularly exercise discretionary powers; and
  • devote no more than 20 percent, or, in the case of an employee of a retail or service establishment devote no more than 40 percent, of his or her hours worked in the workweek to activities which are not directly and closely related to the performance of the primary duties, except for an employee who is in sole charge of an independent establishment or a physically separated branch establishment, or who owns at least a 20 percent interest in the enterprise in which he is employed; and
  • be paid on a salary basis at a rate of not less than $700 per month.

WI Admin. Rules 274.041)(a).




Administrative exemption

Wisconsin exempts administrative employees from its overtime requirements. To qualify as an administrative employee, an employee must:

  • have primary duties which consist of the performance of office or non-manual work directly related to management policies or general business operations of his or her employer or his or her employer’s customers, or
  • customarily and regularly exercise discretion and independent judgment; and
  • regularly and directly assist a proprietor, or an employee employed in a bona fide executive or administrative capacity; or
  • perform under only general supervision work along specialized or technical lines requiring special training, experience, or knowledge, or
  • execute under only general supervision special assignments and tasks; and
  • devote no more than 20 percent, or, in the case of an employee of a retail or service establishment devote no more than 40 percent, of his or her hours worked in the workweek to activities which are not directly and closely related to the performance of the primary duties; and
  • be paid on a salary or fee basis at a rate of not less than $700 per month.

WI Admin. Rules 274.04(1)(b)



Professional exemption

Wisconsin exempts professional employees from its overtime requirements. To qualify as a professional employee, an employee must:

  • perform primary duties consisting of:
    • work requiring knowledge of an advanced type in a field of science or learning customarily acquired by a prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction and study, as distinguished from a general academic education and from an apprenticeship, and from training in the performance of routine mental, manual, or physical processes, or
    • work which is original and creative in character in a recognized field of artistic endeavor, as opposed to work which can be produced by a person endowed with general manual or intellectual ability and training, and the result of which depends primarily on the intention, imagination, or talent of the employee;
  • perform work which requires the consistent exercise of discretion and judgment in its performance; and
  • perform work that is predominantly intellectual and varied in character (as opposed to routine mental, manual, mechanical or physical work) and is of such character that the output produced or the result accomplished cannot be standardized in relation to a given period of time; and
  • devote no more than 20 percent of their hours worked in the workweek to activities which are not an essential part of and necessarily incidental to the performance of the primary duties; and
  • be paid on a salary or fee basis at a rate of not less than $750 per month.

WI Admin. Rules 274.04(1)(c).



Outside salesman exemption

Wisconsin exempts outside salesmen from its overtime requirements. An outside salesman is an employee who spends 80 percent of his or her time away from the employer”™s place of business. WI Admin. Rules 274.04(2).



Computer employee exemption

Wisconsin exempts computer systems analysts, computer programmers, software engineers, or other similarly skilled workers from its overtime requirements. To qualify as a computer systems analyst, computer programmer, software engineer, or other similarly skilled worker, the employee must:

  • be paid on an hourly basis at a minimum rate of $27.63 an hour;
  • perform primary duties consisting of one of the following:
    • the application of systems analysis techniques and procedures, including consulting with users, to determine hardware, software, or system functional specifications.
    • the design, development, documentation, analysis, creation, testing or modification of computer systems or programs, including prototypes, based on and related to user or system design specifications.
    • the design, documentation, testing, creation or modification of computer programs related to machine operating systems.
    • a combination of the duties described above, the performance of which requires the same level of skills.

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Other minimum wage and overtime exemptions

Wisconsin exempts the following individuals from its minimum wage and overtime requirements:

  • any individual engaged in the house to house delivery of newspapers to the consumer or engaged in direct retail sale to the consumer.
  • any individual engaged in performing services for a person as a real estate agent or as a real estate salesperson, if all of those services are performed for remuneration solely by commission.
  • any individual engaged in performing services for the state, its political subdivisions, or other state or local governmental body or entity if that individual is not considered to be an employee or otherwise exempt for the purposes of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
  • any individual engaged in performing services the state, its political subdivisions, or other state or local governmental body or entity if that individual is not subject to the civil service laws of the state and if that individual is an elective officer; is on the personal staff of an elective officer, other than a member of the legislature; is appointed by an elective officer to serve on a policymaking level; or is an immediate adviser to an elective officer with respect to the constitutional or legal powers of the elective officer’s office.

WI Statute 104.01



Overtime only exemptions

Wisconsin exempts the following individuals from its overtime requirements only. Employers are required to comply with any minimum wage requirements for these individuals:

  • higher paid commission employees of retail and service establishments if a) 50% of earning is from commission, and b) time and one-half of minimum wage is received for all hours worked.
  • drivers, driver’s helpers, loaders or mechanics of a motor carrier or a private or contract carrier who are covered under the provisions of section 204 of the Motor Carrier Act 1935 as amended.
  • any employee of an employer engaged in the operation of a common carrier by rail and subject to the provision of Part I of the Interstate Commerce Act as amended and any employee of a carrier by air subject to the provision of the Railway Labor Act as amended.
  • taxicab drivers.
  • parts persons, salespersons, service managers, service writers, or mechanics selling or servicing automobiles, trucks, farm implements, trailers, boats, motorcycles, snowmobiles, other recreational vehicles or aircraft, when employed by a nonmanufacturing establishment primarily engaged in selling such vehicles to ultimate purchasers.
  • any individual employed by an establishment which is an amusement or recreational establishment, if:
    • it does not operate for more than seven months in any calendar year, or
    • if during the preceding calendar year, its average receipts for any six months of such year were not more than 33 1/3 percent of its average receipts for the other six months of such year. This rule shall be construed in such manner as to be in conformity with any comparable federal statute or regulation.
  • individuals employed in agriculture including farming in all its branches, including, among other things, the cultivation and tillage of the soil, dairying, the production, cultivation, growing, and harvesting of any agricultural or horticultural commodities, the raising of livestock, bees, furbearing animals, or poultry, and any practices performed by a farmer or on a farm as an incident to or in conjunction with such farming operations, including preparation for market, delivery to storage or to market or to carriers for transportation to market.
  • individuals employed in any motion picture theater.
  • hospital employees or employees of or other institutions primarily engaged in the care of the sick, the aged, the mentally ill or persons with developmental disabilities who reside on the premises may have an agreement between the employer and the employee before performance of the work for the purpose of overtime computation.
  • individuals employed as a driver or driver’s helper making local deliveries, who are compensated for such employment on the basis of trip rates or other delivery payment plan, if each plan has the general purpose and effect of reducing hours worked by such employees to, or below, the maximum workweek applicable to them.
  • individuals employed in any funeral establishment.
  • individuals employed in the following forestry or lumbering operations, if the number of employees employed by the employer in the operation does not exceed eight:
    • planting or tending trees, cruising, surveying or felling timber;
    • preparing logs or other forestry products; or
    • transporting logs or other forestry products to a mill, processing plant or railroad or other transportation terminal.

WI Admin. Rules 274.04.