Is an inside sales position exempt or nonexempt?

From: Staffing

Is an inside sales position exempt or nonexempt?


Is an inside sales position exempt or nonexempt?


The answer to this question really depends upon the duties of the position, not the title. What the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) actually considers is the compensation paid the position, the education and training requirements for the position, and the specific job duties. Typically inside sales workers who take orders for products that have already been developed and priced and provide customer service support after the sale are classified as nonexempt. However, if the product being sold is highly specialized and requires an advanced degree to sell it or the sales rep is not only inside but outside and more than half of the earnings come from commissions, the position might be exempt. That is why it is so important to evaluate each position separately.

For the FLSA exemptions to apply, a sales employee generally must be paid on a salary basis of no less than $455 per week and perform certain types of work that:

  • Makes sales.
  • Obtains orders or contracts for services or for the use of facilities for which a consideration will be paid by the client or customer.

Further, the sales employee must be customarily and regularly engaged away from the employer’s place or places of business in performing such primary duty. Primary duty is defined as work performed incidental to and in conjunction with the employee’s own outside sales or solicitations, including incidental deliveries and collections.

Other work categorized as exempt includes writing sales reports, updating or revising the employee’s sales or display catalogue, planning itineraries, and attending sales conferences.