Have You Been Misclassified as Exempt from Overtime Laws?

Posted on behalf of Peter T. Nicholl in Unpaid Overtime Jun 20, 2018

labor law formsUnder the Fair Labor Standards Act, many employees are owed overtime compensation when they work more than 40 hours in a week. Overtime pay must be equal to one and one half of an employee's regular rate of pay.

While some employees are exempt from overtime requirements, employers often misclassify workers as exempt when they are not. If you believe that your employer intentionally misclassified you and failed to pay you the overtime compensation you are owed, an experienced unpaid overtime lawyer in Maryland at The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl may be able to help. Schedule a free consultation today.

Below, review some of red flags that may indicate you have been misclassified as exempt from overtime requirements.

Job Title Determined You Were Exempt

Some employers tell employees they are exempt from overtime laws because of their job titles. However, your job title does not determine if you are exempt from overtime requirements. You are not exempt just because you are a manager, supervisor or assistant manager.

Employees are only considered exempt if they meet the criteria for one of the exemptions under federal or state law. There are various exemptions, including:   

  • Executive exemption – This exemption applies to those whose primary job duties involve managing the company or a specific department. They must direct work of two or more full-time employees and must have the ability to hire, fire or recommend personnel decisions. These employees must also be paid a salary of at least $455 per week.
  • Administrative exemption – This applies to employee's whose primary job duties include office work related to the management or operations of a business, including making independent judgment regarding significant matters. These employees must also be paid at least $455 per week.
  • Professional exemption – These workers generally include individuals who have advanced knowledge and perform primarily intellectual work. This exemption includes doctors, teachers, engineers and accountants. If you are paid at least $455 per week and meet these other criteria, you may be exempt from overtime.

Even if some of your job duties qualify for an exemption, if the majority of your time is spent on other duties not incorporated into an exception, you are not exempt and must be paid overtime if you work more than 40 hours in a week.

You Are Paid on an Hourly Basis

There are some exceptions when hourly employees are exempt from overtime requirements. For example, computer employees who earn a minimum of $27.63 an hour and work as computer systems analysts, software engineers or computer programmers may be exempt. However, many employees paid on an hourly basis are owed overtime when they work overtime hours.

If you are being denied overtime and are paid on an hourly basis, you may want to discuss your situation with a knowledgeable attorney.

You Are Classified as an Independent Contractor 

Another common type of misclassification is calling an employee an independent contractor. The Fair Labor Standards Act does not require independent contractors to be paid minimum wage or overtime pay. This is why some employers intentionally misclassify certain employees as independent contractors.

There are several criteria that could indicate you are an employee and have been misclassified as an independent contractor:

  • The employer has the right to direct or control your work
  • You are paid weekly, hourly or monthly
  • Your schedule is dictated by your employer
  • You were trained by your employer
  • You receive insurance, pension, vacation or sick leave benefits

Your Primary Duty is Manual Labor

If you do repetitive work with your hands that requires physical skill, none of the overtime exemptions apply to you. This is often the case for plumbers, iron workers, longshoremen, construction workers and electricians.

Contact a Reputable Lawyer

If you are owed unpaid wages, it is important that you speak to an experienced attorney from The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl. He or she can explain your rights and the legal options that may be available to you. Additionally, he or she can take steps to protect your legal rights, including filing a claim within the applicable deadline to pursue compensation.

We provide a free, no obligation consultation to discuss your case, so you have nothing to lose by contacting us today.

Call 410-244-7005 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form right now.

Contact our personal injury lawyers for a free consultation if you have been injured by another’s negligence. You may be entitled to compensation.



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