Are You a Salaried Employee With a Wage Law Case?
Our Ohio wage law attorneys can help you
In the world of wage law, the idea of being "salaried" is one of the most frequently misunderstood concepts. One of the largest misconceptions is that salaried employees are not entitled to overtime simply because they are paid a salary. That is not the case. Many employers take advantage of this misunderstanding to save thousands or even millions of dollars on payroll. The wage law attorneys at Nilges Draher LLC fight to hold violators accountable.
Understanding the difference between salaried and exempt employees
The reality is that being on salary is simply a method of paying you (as opposed to being hourly), and does not change your legal rights. While the vast majority of "exempt" employees are paid on salary, not all salaried employees are exempt.
The law carves out limited classes of employees who are not entitled to overtime. Those employees are referred to as "exempt" employees. For those employees to be "exempt", they must meet certain strict criteria and earn a certain minimum salary. While the criteria vary somewhat depending on jurisdiction, here are some general types of exempt employees:
- Managers who have hiring, firing and evaluation power, or other comparable decision-making authority, and spend a significant amount of their time performing managerial tasks. This exemption is based on job duties, not job title - a nominal "manager" who may supervise other employees during shifts but spends most of his or her time performing ordinary work tasks instead of managerial tasks is not an exempt employee.
- Learned professionals who do knowledge-based work, such as doctors, lawyers and engineers.
- Administrative professionals who do executive-level knowledge work such as human resources, finance and IT.
- Outside salespeople who go out and meet with customers (but not inside salespeople such as call center employees).
- People in certain professions that are specifically exempted by statute.
As you can see, the vast majority of workers are not exempt, and if you are classified as exempt, then it is the employer that has the burden of proving each and every element of the exemption is satisfied.
The point is that being "salaried" alone does not control whether you are exempt from overtime. Nor does your job title - that is, just calling you a "manager" does not make you exempt from overtime if your actual job duties do not qualify for an exemption. Whether or not you are exempt from overtime depends on the nature of your actual job, as defined by law.
Your employer might be mistaken, or they might be trying to save money by getting free overtime out of you. Either way, if you have legal rights that are being violated, we can help.
Why it matters if you're classified as a salaried employee
You might not think that it is an issue that you are misclassified as a salaried, exempt employee. In fact, your employer might try to convince you that being salaried is beneficial to you. They'll talk about your greater responsibility, higher status within the company and opportunities for further advancement.
The reality is that being misclassified means that your employer thinks it can require you to work more than 40 hours in a week without being paid overtime. That, however, is against the law.
If you are classified as a "salaried" employee and do not receive overtime pay for hours worked in excess of 40 in a work week, you might have an overtime or minimum wage claim, or both. Contact us today for your free case evaluation. Our experienced wage lawyers will answer your questions and explain the wage laws that apply to your circumstances.
How our legal team can help you
The Ohio and Federal wage and hour laws are complex. Even some sophisticated employers and seasoned attorneys mistakenly believe that "salary" and "exempt" are the same thing. That's not the case, but getting to that answer requires a very fact intensive analysis of your particular situation, an analysis that can vary by jurisdiction.
While an employer may simply be mistaken, it may also know quite well what it's doing. The savings of switching you to "salary" are quite tempting, especially when done to others on a company-wide basis. Sometimes lawyers help the employer fashion this money-saving scheme. A few hundred dollars of unpaid overtime to you translates to thousands or millions of savings to them when done company-wide.
Indeed, while wage & hour claims are typically subject to a two-year statute of limitations, Congress wrote into the Fair Labor Standards Act a three-year limit for employers who "willfully" violate the law. The law takes a dim view of these violations - and our attorneys can help you pursue justice.
If they have lawyers helping them, then why not see if we can help you? We know how to investigate such claims, which can be pursued individually or as a collective. In fact, recognizing that employers are usually stronger than the individual employee, Congress specifically provided a statutory right to join forces and pursue wage & hour claims in a class or collective action.
Put your trust in an experienced Ohio wage and hour violation attorney who puts your needs first. Contact us today and schedule your free case evaluation at Nilges Draher LLC. We can help.