Employees Misclassified As Exempt
Misclassifying employees is one of the most common violations of the overtime law, which requires employers to compensate qualifying employees for work done beyond the standard 40-hour workweek.
Overtime law under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is complex; therefore, some employers might misclassify workers as exempt unintentionally. Employers are generally advised to consult an overtime lawyer to avoid misclassification. However, we must say many of the companies misclassify employees deliberately to dodge paying overtime wages.
Companies involved in this unethical and illegal act usually give non-exempt employees job titles that belong to the exempt group’s employees. For instance, they classify clerical workers and secretaries as administrative assistants. According to the Department of Labor, the day-to-day duties of an employee count in determining overtime eligibility rather than their job titles.
Whether FLSA misclassification is deliberate or unintentional, employers can be held liable for unpaid overtime and other penalties. If you suspect you’ve been misclassified as exempt, it’s best to contact an attorney to learn more about your legal overtime rights.
Which Employees Are Overtime-Exempt?
Exempt employees usually get paid a salary while non-exempt employees receive hourly wages plus overtime. Keep in mind though not all salaried employees are overtime-exempt. For example, workers who earn less than $684 per week or $35,568 annually qualify to collect overtime pay.
Below are a variety of workers exempted by FLSA, regardless of the number of hours worked in a workweek.
To qualify as an executive employee, you must meet the following requirements:
· Earn a salary of at least $684 per week or $35,568 annually
· Your primary duty must involve managing the company or a department of the organization
· You can hire or fire employees, or at least directly influence such and other decisions like job promotions and advancements
· Must directly control the work of at least two employees who work on a full-time basis
To be classified as an administrative employee, you must satisfy the following requirements:
· Be a salaried employee earning at least $684 per week or $35,568 annually
· Your principal duty must be to perform office or non-manual work that also requires exercising discretion and independent judgment when it comes to significant matters concerning the company
· Your primary work duty must also be directly connected to the company’s management or general operations, including employer’s clients
To be overtime-exempt under the FLSA, professional employees must:
· Receive a salary of $684 weekly or $35,568 annually
· The principal duty must involve performing tasks that require advanced knowledge acquired through a specialized training course in a field of science or learning
· The primary work task should also require an employee to exercise discretion and judgment consistently
Examples of professional staff in this category include accountants, doctors, teachers, and engineers
As a computer specialist, your hourly wages should be at least $27.63 to qualify for the computer employee exemption. This exemption typically affects system analysts, software engineers, as well as programmers. If you are a desk worker or involved in repairing computer hardware and other components, you may be eligible for overtime pay.
Outside sales employees
For an outside sales employee, you must satisfy the following criteria to be overtime-exempt:
· The principal duty must be to facilitate sales or secure contracts/ orders for services
· You must customarily and regularly make sales away from the employer’s business premises
To be classified as an independent contractor, you must meet the following requirements:
· An employer does not withhold your income tax, Social Security, Medicare, and other legal deductions from wages earned
· An employer does not directly control or dictate your work schedules, methods, and rules
· You own the materials, tools, and equipment needed to carry out the required tasks
· You usually work for more than one employer
· You do not receive benefits, such as a pension, health insurance, and sick leave from the employer