Companies Affected by Overtime laws
Recent amendments to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) have had an immediate and sometimes dramatic impact on a variety of industries. In order to qualify under FLSA guidelines as an "exempt" employee (i.e. an employee ineligible for overtime compensation), the employee must make more than $455 weekly, and satisfy the requirements for a three-part test for exemption from overtime pay:
(1) the employee must be paid a set and fixed salary that is not subject to variations because of quantity or quality of work (salary basis test)
(2) the salary must meet a minimum level (salary test), and
(3) the employee's duties must be primarily in the executive, administrative, or professional duties of the business (duties test)
The controversial changes to the FLSA's overtime laws have made substantial modifications to the definition of an "exempt" employee. These changes were sought by business interests and the Bush Administration, both of whom claimed that the laws needed clarification and that few workers would be affected.
However, the "clarification" of these laws has had immediate and sometimes profound ramifications on the lives of tens of thousands of American workers, many of who are victimized by a lack of familiarity of their rights as employees within the new framework of the FLSA. For example, employers, in an attempt to cut overhead costs, can and often do misclassify the jobs of their employees, so as to exempt them from overtime eligibility.
As a result, familiarity with the definition of an exempt and/or non-exempt employee is paramount in determining your course of action against your employer. In a day and age when unscrupulous employer business practices seem to dominate the headlines on a daily basis, you must be familiar with your rights as an employee, and the legal action available should those rights be violated.
Retail Chains Overtime and FLSA Law
In an attempt to avoid incurring the costs associated with overtime pay, some large scale retail chains have adopted the practice of misclassifying the job requirements of their employees.
For example, employees with a "manager" title are often exempt from earning overtime wages even if they qualify for them. According to the new amendments of the FLSA, a manager position can fall under exempt status, even if the employee is consistently performing functions other than those associated with executive, administrative or professional duties (i.e. ringing up sales or performing various other duties required of non-management employees who are not at work, such as product maintenance and adjustment. )
Recently, Longs Drug Stores reached a preliminary $11 million agreement to settle a class action lawsuit relating to the calculation of earned overtime wages for certain of the company's former and current managers and assistant store managers in 400 locations throughout California.
Employees of retail chains or other businesses who feel they have been a victim of job misclassification should immediately contact experienced FLSA legal counsel, as they may be entitled to compensation for lost or miscalculated overtime wages.
Retail Stores & FLSA Law Information
Often times, the day-to-day requirements of retail stores force employees to perform tasks that are not within their job description. For example, one of the busiest days of the year for retail stores is the day after Christmas, but often times, many employees fail to show up for work because of family obligations.
As a result, employees who are usually involved in administrative or executive duties (i.e. store managers) are forced to perform "blue collar" duties and functions, such as working the cash register, product maintenance and adjustment, or even something as simple as keeping the store clean.
In such cases, employees will often work much longer than the normal eight hour business day, and by California law, are entitled to wages at a pay rate of one and a half times their normal hourly wage, otherwise known as "time and a half". However, the store can claim that, as a manager, you qualify as an "exempt" employee under the new guidelines of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), thus preventing you from collecting the overtime pay you are entitled to.
If you have questions about your exempt or non-exempt employee status, or feel that you have been denied appropriate compensation because your company has manipulated the amendments of the FLSA to their advantage, seek knowledgeable, experienced legal counsel immediately.
Fast Food Restaurants Overtime Laws
An employee's eligibility for overtime in the "fast food" industry is contingent upon what type of job they have. Generally, employers are not required to pay managers overtime due to the new stipulations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
However, the day-to-day responsibilities in this service industry often require employees to fulfill responsibilities outside of their original job description. Employee duties such as cashiering, sales, replenishing stock, or maintenance work are generally reserved for non-exempt employees, but staffing issues and client volume can and often do force managerial employees to fulfill such tasks.
In such cases, employees are forced to work much longer than the state-mandated eight hour workday, thus becoming eligible for overtime compensation. Unfortunately, employers are well aware of the specific requirements of the FLSA, and can use that information to their advantage in regards to employee compensation.
There is a lengthy history of both individual and class action lawsuits against employers within the food and service industry (Taco Bell and Starbucks for example). As such, it is worth both your time and energy to pursue the issue with experienced legal counsel immediately.
Insurance Companies Overtime Compensation
Employees within insurance agencies who are not actual sales agents are often assigned a host of administrative and clerical duties, and the effective execution of those duties can require more time than is available within the typical eight hour work day.
As a result, employees are often eligible for overtime compensation, but fail to receive it based on their employer's interpretation of the Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA). For example, an employer can claim an employee who carries out administrative duties to be exempt from overtime compensation, as they hav e primary duties and responsibilities that involve the management of the enterprise.
Such are the stipulations of the FLSA, but the interpretation of those stipulations remains a hotbed of controversy. If you feel your duties have been misclassified or that your employer has failed to accurately qualify your job position, you may well be entitled to monetary compensation for lost or misappropriated wages. Speak with an experienced FLSA attorney today.
Mortgage Companies not paying overtime
The mortgage industry has long relied on commission-based payments for a large portion their workforce, but recent amendments to the Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA) have lead many employers to misclassify their employees in order to avoid overtime compensation.
For example, many firms have historically paid brokers a nominal salary while structuring a commission system that would greatly benefit the employee should they close a sale. Now that the non-exempt weekly salary has moved from $250 to $455, many employers run the risk of owing these same employees overtime compensation. As such, some have attempted to alter the job duties and titles of their employees as they pertain to the definitions of exempt (white collar) or non-exempt (blue collar) employees as defined by the FLSA.
Ultimately, some employees within the mortgage industry are not being adequately compensated for their labor, instead becoming victims of their employer's attempts to use the language of the law for own their personal financial gain. If you feel that you or someone you know has been adversely affected by such transgressions, contact an experienced FLSA attorney as soon as possible.
Health Clubs/Gyms and Overtime Laws
Employees of health clubs and gyms are required to perform a variety of tasks, and the resulting workload can lead to lengthy work days. As is the case in most service-related industries, employees of health clubs and gyms are often given work-related responsibilities that fall outside of their normal day-to-day duties and functions, and this "multi-tasking" can create a difficult situation when it comes to seeking overtime compensation.
Recently, the Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was amended to help "clarify" the definition of an "exempt" employee (i.e., someone who is not eligible for overtime compensation), but these amendments seem to have created just as much confusion as clarity.
In this instance, employees such as shift managers, sales associates and fitness trainers can be negatively impacted by an employer's interpretation of the FLSA. Under the new guidelines, they can be deemed "exempt" from overtime compensation based on the definition of their job-related duties. Know your legal rights as an employee. If you feel those rights may have been violated, contact an experienced FLSA attorney immediately.
Hospitals Overtime Laws
Recent amendments to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) have had major impacts on employees in a variety of healthcare industries, including hospitals. The bulk of hospital employment staffs are comprised of hourly wage earners (i.e. nurses, janitors, security agents, shift mangers, etc.) All of these employees can and will be eligible for overtime and California law should they work more than eight (8) hours in a work day, or more than 40 hours in a five-day workweek.
However, hospital management has used the recent modifications to the structure of the FLSA to their benefit. By reclassifying (or in many cases misclassifying) the positions and job titles of certain employees, they can use the language of the law to "exempt" these same employees from overtime compensation.
For example, a nurse who is paid hourly has to work as a shift manager because another employee is unable to work. By assuming those managerial responsibilities, he/she renders themselves exempt from overtime pay, as those duties fall within the scope of administrative or executive duties, or are they are known in the language of the FLSA "white collar" responsibilities.
Healthcare employees must be acutely aware of their legal rights, and those who are concerned or confused about their current situation should contact qualified legal counsel immediately.
Short Shift Differential - FLSA Law
Many employees are required to make purchases that are solely for the benefit of the company they work for. Employers must keep accurate records when these purchases are classified as business expenses that will be reimbursed. However, there are some cases where employers refuse to reimburse their employees for business expenses.
Employees who are subjected to unscrupulous behavior by their employers should not suffer financially for the business expenses they are made to purchase. It is essential that both employer and employee honor their agreement for business expense compensation.
If your life has been affected by non-reimbursed business expenses, it is important that you understand your legal rights as a victim. Nobody deserves to be taken advantage of in the workplace. An experienced and compassionate FLSA attorney can help you fight for justice and the reimbursement you deserve. Do not hesitate to discuss your case with a lawyer today.