Under FLSA employees are categorized as either exempt or nonexempt employees based on the minimum wage standard and overtime pay. Nonexempt employees have to be paid the minimum hourly wage for every hour worked and they must also be paid overtime dues if they have worked for more than forty hours per week. On the other hand, there are exemptions that deviate from the minimum wage and overtime pay standard, these are employees that meet certain duty tests, but most of the time employees are non-exempt. Misclassifying employees as exempt in order to avoid overtime pay violates the FLSA standard and there is government enforcement.
What Are The Red Flags That Show That You’re Misclassified?
- When You’re Paid Hourly
For Out of sales employee exemption and computer industry, the federal law suggests that exempt employees should be paid $455 every week for the work which they’ve done, but under the executive, professional and administrative exemptions all employers are not allowed to pay employees on an hourly basis. In the computer exemption all employees wage must meet the minimum standard or should receive a minimum hourly rate of $27/hour, some states might have different requirements, so you should check with your state so that you understand how things work.
- When You’re Paid Less Than $455/Week Because You’re Part Time
According to the FLSA, professional, executive and administrative should receive a minimum of $455/week (there are states that have a higher standard), whether you’re working full time or part-time. According to FLSA, if you’re paid less than $455/hours you have to be classified as nonexempt and have to be compensated for overtime when you work for more than 40 hours/week.
- Duty Test Wasn’t Conducted
Some employers without conducting the duty test they’ll just go ahead and classify an employee as exempt, they believe as long as the employees are paid the minimum wage he can be categorized as exempt. Before an employee is classified as exempt, he must undergo salary and duty test and each exemption has a different duty test, failure to conduct a duty test will result in misclassification, as an employee your duties and responsibilities might change over time and this means the duty test should be conducted again so that you’re placed at the right category.
- Employer Used Job Title To Put You In Exempt Status
Your job title has nothing to do with whether you’re exempt or not, it’s only if you qualify for the duty and salary test. Provided employees have met overtime requirements, they have to be classified as nonexempt and should be paid the minimum hourly rate standard in their state.
- Employee Is Involved In Manual Labor Only
Exemptions don’t apply to manual workers or laborers, it also doesn’t apply to employees that perform a repetitive task using their hands, either using physical skill or energy. Examples of employees that shouldn’t be considered as exempt include; carpenters, mechanics, ironworkers, plumbers, electricians, longshoremen, operating engineers, craftsmen, laborers, and construction workers.
- Classifying Employees As Exempt Automatically Because They Have a College Degree
Just because you have a degree doesn’t automatically qualify you as exempt, it’s not an indication that you qualify for duty test of professional exemptions. Before an employee is considered as exempt his primary duty has to involve advanced knowledge in any science field where there is specialized academic training that is needed before acquiring such skill.
- Your Employer Hasn’t Considered The State Exemption Standard
Even though FLSA standards are used when it comes to categorizing employees, some states have their own exemption test and they should be considered prior to the FLSA standard, some states have higher standards than FLSA, employers should consider state laws that govern exemptions before making decisions on any employee. If as an employee you have satisfied the only federal test, not state test, you’re entitled to overtime pay in all situations that are covered by your state law.
- Making Deductions for Exempt Employees That’s the Same with Non-Exempt Employees
Generally speaking, exempt employees must be paid in full for their salary in any given week; there are of course some situations where these deductions are permissible like when the employee is absent from work due to personal reasons. In situations like these deductions can be made, but absence due to sickness or disability isn’t a reason for employers to make deductions.
If you believe you have been misclassified and you need some help contact us now Massey & Duffy so that we can help you with the matter.