Misclassified as Salaried or Exempt
Employment Law Representation in Missouri & Illinois
If you are paid a salary, then you are not entitled to overtime pay, right? Not necessarily. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the general starting premise is that all employees are entitled to be paid minimum wage for all hours worked and one and one-half times their "regular rate" of pay for all hours over 40 in a workweek. There are several exceptions to this general rule, which are different exemptions to the FLSA. There are some types of jobs for which you are not entitled to overtime pay; however, employers often misclassify an employee as exempt and, in doing so, deprive that employee of legally required overtime pay.
So how do you know whether your job meets one of these exemptions? The answer to that question typically requires a thorough legal analysis by a competent overtime lawyer. Oftentimes, the applicability of an exemption depends upon the actual job duties performed by the employee; job titles alone are not determinative of whether an employee is exempt.
Contrary to popular belief, a salary by itself does not mean an employee is not entitled to overtime pay. Many employers and employees think a salaried employee is automatically exempt regardless of job duties. Some employers know an employee is exempt but purposely deprive the employee of overtime pay by leading the employee to believe that he or she is exempt simply because the employee receives a salary. In either instance, the employer is violating the law if the employee's job duties do not meet the requirements of a particular exemption of the FLSA.
In order for an employer to treat a particular employee as being exempt from overtime pay, the employer has the legal burden to prove that the employee's salary and job duties meet the specific requirements of a particular exemption.
Here are some examples of FLSA exemptions (situations where an employee is not entitled to overtime pay):
In order for an executive to be considered exempt, they must be paid on a salary basis of no less than $455 a week. The employee must regularly direct work of at least two full-time employees and be given the authority to hire and fire employees from the company as a manager.
The employee has to perform office or non-manual work that is part of the management of the employer's business, and the employee's primary responsibility must be to exercise discretion and independent judgment on matters of significance.
Any employee whose primary duty is having advanced knowledge in the fields of science or learning and who is compensated at least $455 a week may be considered for the professional exemption.
Outside Sales Exemption
Exempt outside sales employees are those employees who make sales (or obtain contracts for services or use of facilities) and who frequently make such sales at a location other than their employer's business.
Computer Employee Exemption
To be an exempt computer employee, the employee must be compensated at least $455 a week or $27.63 an hour and have their primary work be system analyzing, computer programming, software programming or another skill directly related to the performance of computer technology.
Highly Compensated Employees
Any office or non-manual laborer who is paid at least $100,000 annually (on a salaried basis), and who frequently performs duties that meet one of the other exemptions (executive, administrative, or professional) will be considered exempt under the FLSA's overtime requirements.
Police, Fire Fighters, Paramedics and First Responders
Law enforcement personnel, first medical responders, rescue workers, fire fighters, and other employees who perform similar duties are typically entitled to overtime pay (i.e., are considered non-exempt).
Being salaried is usually just one part of the test in determining whether an employee is exempt from overtime pay. If you feel that your employer has wrongfully classified you as exempt from overtime pay, then you need to contact an attorney from Riggan Law Firm as soon as possible. By retaining a dedicated attorney from the firm, you may be able to achieve the outcome that you desire. Riggan Law Firm has assisted numerous clients for more than 30 years in Missouri and Illinois, and may be able to assist you as well.
If you are considering moving forward with your employment case in an effort to obtain compensation, then contact the team today.
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