Roses are red, violets are blue, my boss told me I’m exempt from overtime pay – is that true?
As the minimum wage continues to rise, more employers are shifting their pay practices from compensating workers on an hourly basis to providing workers with flat salaries. The rationale behind this decision is to allow employers to pay workers in such a way that is not necessarily tied to the number of hours their employees work. It further allows employers to claim entitlement to exemptions from overtime pay requirements.
While it’s true that in the past, many salaried workers were exempt from overtime pay, there is a common misconception about why they were exempt. Typically, these workers were exempt because of the nature of their duties and the jobs they performed, which were often non-entry level positions that included personnel and/or independent authority for which a salary was appropriate.. Thus, these employees were exempt from overtime pay not because they received a salary, but because of the nature of their work. This is a key distinction. Employees involved in the overall operations of a company are exempt from overtime pay, whereas employees performing day-to-day operations are non-exempt and therefore entitled to overtime pay. For example, assistant managers may be called managers even though their primary job duties do not require them to exercise personnel or independent authority. Thus, some “assistant managers” may be owed overtime pay.
Generally, the rule is that any individual working over 40 hours in a given workweek is entitled to overtime pay at a rate of time and one half their regular hourly rate. Sure, there are exceptions, but the lay of the land nowadays is that some employers have attempted to characterize many of the positions on their labor force as exempt from overtime pay. Reality is, that’s not always the case.
If you’re working more than 40 hours a week but you’re not receiving overtime pay, call us at (516) 873-9550 or email us for a free and confidential case evaluation from our New York Unpaid Overtime Attorneys. You have nothing to lose, and potentially a lot to gain.