Best Ohio Overtime Attorney Answer: Can my employer avoid paying me overtime by paying me a salary? Can my employer avoid paying me overtime by calling me a manager? What is wage theft?
The Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA“) requires covered employers to pay all non-exempt employees overtime for all hours worked in excess of 40 per week. A “non-exempt” employee is someone who does not fit into the numerous exemptions the FLSA makes to the overtime rules.
Our overtime law attorneys have blogged about tricks used by shady employers to steal overtime pay away from those employees that need it the most. (See Overtime Trick: What Should I Do If My Boss Says I Work For Two Companies?; Should I Be Paid Overtime Even If I Have The Title Manger? Top Ohio Wage and Hour Lawyer Reply; If I Do Domestic Work, Can I Sue For Overtime Pay? I Need A Lawyer!; Are IT Employees Entitled To Be Paid Overtime At Time And A Half?; What Is The Minimum Salary To Be Exempt From Overtime Pay Requirements? I Need A Lawyer!)
These exemptions include those whose “primary duties” qualify them for the executive exemption, administrative exemption, professional exemption, and those working in outside sales roles, and so on. Under current rules, it does not matter if a minimal amount of an employee’s time is actually spent performing these duties. A basic requirement for any exemption status, however, is that the employee in question be paid at least $455.00 a week. That is as little as $23,660.00 a year. However, an employer cannot avoid paying overtime just by paying an employee a salary – the employee must also have job duties that qualify them for an exemption.
Thanks in part to this low weekly salary requirement, many employers have cheated their employees out of overtime by paying them close to the minimum salary, and giving them a handful of job duties to qualify them for an exemption. Retailers are one of the worst offenders, slapping “manager” labels on hourly employees, giving them minimal supervisory responsibilities, and paying them a small salary to avoid having to pay overtime.
President Obama had directed the Department of Labor (“DOL“) to modernize the FLSA and make it more difficult for employers to deny overtime to employees who would otherwise be eligible. The DOL recently released their proposed changes, which will likely go into effect in 2016. The changes are great news for employees, who will either be paid a higher salary, become eligible for overtime, or see the number of hours they work over 40 in a given week greatly reduced.
The biggest change, of course, is the weekly salary requirement, which nearly doubles. Now, employers will have to pay a salaried employee a minimum of $970.00 per week, or $50,440.00 per year. Critically, the new rules will provide for a methodology to ensure that the minimum salary is tied to inflation, ensuring that the effectiveness of the salary requirement is not diluted over time (pun intended).
Surprisingly, the DOL did not propose any changes to the primary duty test, which means that for the time being, employers will be able to continue giving certain employees a managerial title and minimal management duties to avoid the FLSA’s overtime requirements. However, it seems likely that with the new minimum salary requirement, few employers who have engaged in this practice are likely to continue.
If you believe that your employer is not paying you all of your wages for all of your lawfully earned overtime compensation at a rate of one and half times your normal wages as requires under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act or Ohio Minimum Fair Wage Standards laws or you are an nonexempt employee that has been misclassified as exempt or independent contractor, contact the attorneys at The Spitz Law Firm today for a free and confidential initial consultation. The wage and hour lawyers at The Spitz Law Firm will provide you with the best options for your overtime pay dispute situation. If you even think that you may be entitled to overtime pay that you are not being paid, call 866-797-6040.
The materials available at the top of this overtime, wage and hour web page and at this employment law website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. If you are still asking, “Am I entitled to overtime?”, “Does my job have to pay me for …”, “My paycheck is not right…” or “What do I do if…”, the your best option is to contact an Ohio overtime attorney to obtain advice with respect to FLSA questions or any particular employment law issue. Use and access to this employment law website or any of the links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship. The legal opinions expressed at the top of this page or through this site are the opinions of the individual lawyer and may not reflect the opinions of The Spitz Law Firm, Brian Spitz, or any individual attorney.