Employer misread FLSA regulations

by on March 27, 2009 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: HR Info Center

Wage and Hour laws look beyond job titles

Under Wage and Hour laws, you may call a hamburger flipper “Senior Vice President of Grill Operations” if you wish. But if his primary duty is cooking meat and he works more than 40 hours in a week, FLSA regulations say you must pay him at least time-and-one-half overtime.

‘But he’s a specialist and exempt under FLSA regulations’

Not a day goes by when the DOL doesn’t nail an employer for wage and hour laws and overtime violations. All too often, employers argue, “But he’s a specialist!” or “But she’s an administrator!” Call workers what you will, but remember, job duties – not job title – determine eligibility for overtime pay in FLSA regulations.

A tech company failed to pay 55 employees overtime. A single complaint led to a investigation.

Turns out the company had misclassified several jobs including Order Management Specialist, Service Partner Contract Administrator and Sales Operations Specialist.

Not the decision makers

DOL investigators looked beyond job titles to the actual duties. The people in these jobs weren’t involved in the firm’s day-to-day general management. They weren’t decision makers. They didn’t use independent judgment. And they didn’t spend most of their time managing others.

The employees didn’t qualify for administrative or professional exemptions under FLSA regulations – despite having “administrator” and “specialist” in their titles. The firm had to pay $73,286 in back wages to the misclassified workers.

Cite:DOL v. Advanced Digital Information.

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