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Salary AND Entitled to Overtime

Paid a Salary and Entitled to Overtime? Yes.

There are a number of reasons why people file cases under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and a number of reasons why people don’t file cases under the FLSA. The major reason that people don’t file cases is simply lack of knowledge. Most people don’t know their rights. Sometimes they are told something wrong (often by a manager of HR who may or may not even know that they are misclassifying someone---but more on that later). This makes sense---they are not lawyers. And nor are you.

You work hard, you do your job, and then you go home. It turns out that experienced employment lawyers are rarely surprised that when someone comes to them and they have a valid claim under the FLSA. By that time, someone (usually a co-worker) or something (often the internet) has informed them that they are entitled to overtime pay. This usually comes about because the employee is fed up with working well over 40 hours. Many of my clients through the years have worked 50, 60 and even 70+ hours a week. Fortunately, I have been able to help a large number of people receive overtime pay. Unfortunately, thousands of workers are entitled to overtime pay but simply don’t know it for one reason: they think that there are not entitled to overtime pay because they receive a salary. Here is something they should know:

You Can Receive a “Salary” and Still Be Entitled to Overtime Pay

There are so many people who think that simply because they receive a salary they are not entitled to overtime. At first glance, this makes sense. Hourly paid employees are entitled to overtime pay and salaried employees are not. Right?

Nope! Simply because you receive a “salary” it does not mean that you are not entitled to overtime.

The term salary is a term that is defined under the FLSA. Because you are a paid weekly amount, it does not necessarily mean that it is a “salary” for FLSA purposes. Similarly, because you make a salary of $30,000 (or even $50,000, $70,000 or more) it does necessarily mean that you are not entitled to overtime pay.

A large number of cases revolve around one word: DUTY. In order for an employee to be exempt from the FLSA’s overtime requirements, the employee must meet a “duties” requirement under the FLSA. In order to determine if the duties you perform at work will allow you to be exempt or non-exempt under the FLSA, it is in your best interest to talk with an experienced employment lawyer. A careful investigation of your job duties will lead an employment lawyer to a well-reasoned opinion as to whether you are entitled to overtime pay. Of course, your employer’s employment attorney will often say something very different.

When attorneys argue about whether an employees duties entitle them to overtime or not, it is considered a “misclassification” cases. Major companies are prone to misclassification. Some of the fields where this tends to happen most include the following jobs that employers often wrongly fail to pay overtime:

  • Assistant Managers
  • Computer and IT employees
  • Field Service Engineers
  • Call Center Employees
  • Administrative Assistants
  • Paralegals
  • Salespeople

If you are paid a salary, work more than 40 hours per week and think you might be entitled to overtime, contact Robb Bigelow at Bigelow Legal and let an experienced employment lawyer help you.