Are Salaried Employees Entitled to Overtime?
So your boss has handed you big promotion. He has made you a manager and has agreed to pay you a salary. After awhile you realize that your pay is about the same. You do the same job that you performed prior to the promotion. You do not have any real authority on the job. All significant decisions still must be approved by your boss. To add insult to injury, you now are required to work 50 hours per week, but receive no additional pay. Most people assume that since they are salaried and have a job title that they are not entitled to overtime. Nothing could be further from the truth. This determination is dependent upon whether the employee is classified as an exempt or non-exempt employee pursuant The Fair Labor Standards Act.
The Fair Labor Standards Act
The Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor regulates The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) which establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor standards that may affect full time and part time workers in private businesses and also State, Federal and local governments. In order to collect overtime wages, you must be a non-exempt employee, meaning you are entitled to receive overtime pay based on your position and duties. White collar jobs and many management positions are considered exempt, but simply because your boss gives you the title of manager and pays you a salary does not necessarily mean you are exempt in the eyes of the law.
Exempt vs. Non-Exempt Employees
Some jobs are classified as exempt by definition. Outside sales employees are non exempt, by definition. While there are grey areas, most employees can be classified as exempt or non-exempt based upon three basic criteria: how much they are paid; how they are paid; and what kind of work they perform. As a general rule, exempt employees must be paid at least $23,600 per year on a salary (not hourly) basis and must perform exempt job duties. Failure to meet any one of the criteria will result in the employee being considered non exempt and eligible to collect overtime wages.
Obviously, the first two criteria can be easily determined. It is the third prong of the test which examines the type of work performed that causes the most trouble. If your job duties include the following abilities and/or duties you will likely be considered an exempt employee.
• Supervising two or more other employees
• Management is the primary duty of the position
• Ability to hire, fire, train, promote and discipline employees
• Ability to set rates of pay
• Ability to set sales goals
• Planning the work
• Apportioning the work among the employees
• Planning budgets
• Monitoring work for safety, legal and regulatory compliance
However, even if your job description seems to qualify as an exempt position you may still qualify for overtime pay if your employer does not treat you as an exempt employee. An example of this would be if your employer “docks” your pay if you miss a day of work. True exempt employees are not docked pay for missing a day of work.
What Happens if My Employer Does Not Pay Me Overtime?
According to FLSA, non-exempt employees must be paid overtime wages at a rate of no less than one and one-half (1 1/2) times their regular rate of pay, after 40 hours of work has been completed within a work week. If your employer does not pay overtime pursuant to the FLSA, you may file a lawsuit. If you can show that you were entitled to overtime, your employer will be liable for your unpaid overtime, liquidated damages in an amount equal to your unpaid overtime and your attorney’s fees.
An employee looking to file a claim for overtime compensation must do so within a specified time period. There is a statute of limitations in the State of Florida for filing such claims. In Florida, you must file your claim within two years of the date which you were entitled to earn the pay. As an employee, you are eligible to recover wages retroactively two (2) years from the date of filing your claim.
Contact an Experienced Wage and Overtime Lawyer at Jones Law Group
Do you believe that your employer has failed to pay you minimum wage and/or overtime? Contact an experienced St. Petersburg wage and overtime attorney at Jones Law Group today. When you contact our office we will immediately set an appointment where you will meet your attorney and be provided with his/her personal contact information. If you do not have transportation or you cannot drive, your attorney will travel to meet you and discuss your case with you.
If your boss is not paying you minimum wage, overtime or requiring you to perform work for periods which you are not being paid, you should immediately call an experienced wage and overtime attorney in St. Petersburg at Jones Law Group at (727) 571-1333 during regular business hours or (727) 753-8657 on weekends or after regular business hours. We will evaluate your case for free and you will never pay us a dime unless we recover compensation for your injuries.
Jones Law Group
5622 Central Avenue
St. Pete, FL 33707