The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was passed to protect American workers from being abused by their employers. Often times, employees are forced to work “off-the-clock.” This occurs when managers and supervisors intimidate employees by claiming that there are plenty of unemployed individuals out there who want their job. (See our prior post as to the Fairfax County unemployment statistics.) This makes employees reluctant to stand up in the face of abuse for fear of retaliation or losing their jobs. When corporations require salaried employees to work longer hours or increase a person’s job duties or responsibilities, they may be violating the law.
Under the FLSA, a “Bona Fide Executive” or managerial employee typically receives a salary for all hours worked and is not entitled to overtime pay. To qualify for this type of pay arrangement, however, the employee’s “primary duty” must be “management” of the store or department to which they are assigned. Under the Department of Labor regulations, “the amount of time” an employee spends on a particular task can be a good indicator of whether “management” is their primary duty. Therefore, if a company continues to add more job duties and responsibilities that really isn’t “management” work, they could be violating the law by changing the very nature of the job. In some instances, adding the additional work will create a situation where the employee should actually be receiving overtime pay, even though they still receive a salary. There is nothing wrong with employees pitching in during tough economic times. But, a company cannot be allowed to violate the law and abuse its employees so its high level executives can continue to make their same salaries, receive big bonuses and not share in the increased work. The ABRAMS LANDAU team has referred several callers with wage and salary claims to experienced labor and employment lawyers for their cases. If you or someone you know has not been paid for overtime hours or other work obligations, e-mail us at ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd., or call 703-796-9555 today.