What Are Exempt Job Duties?
There are 3 categories of exemptions:
- Executive: This applies to department heads with hiring and firing duties, presidents, heads of major divisions, or general managers.
- Administrative: Administrators include payroll directors, controllers, personnel directors, department heads, general managers, chief financial officers, head buyers, or head dispatchers.
- Professional: Creative professionals, writers, physicians, registered nurses, pharmacists, dentists, teachers, artists, attorneys, CPAs, and others.
To be exempt, your primary duty must fit into one of the above categories. This means that you spend more than 50% of your work time doing this duty. In addition, your weekly compensation must be at least $684. Still, there are many gray areas with respect to job classification. If you are unsure if one of these categories applies to you, speak with an employment law attorney.
If your job is classified as exempt, it means that one or more of the Fair Labor Standards Act does not apply to you. When this act was passed, many types of employees were purposefully excluded. This is due in part to lobbying efforts by industries with strong motives to quash employee rights to fair compensation. If you are unsure about your job classification, speak to an employment law attorney. The partners at Schall and Barasch LLC keep current with all aspects of employment law in both New Jersey and the United States in general. They will be able to help you determine whether you are owed overtime compensation.
What Is Misclassification?
A common trick employers use to avoid paying their employees overtime is to misclassify non-exempt employees as exempt. Employers will falsely classify an employee as exempt and pay them a salary, doing so to avoid having to pay overtime. If the employee ends up working more than 40 hours in a week, the employer will refuse to pay overtime wages, claiming that they do not need to. Misclassifying employees as exempt results in substantial wage theft of employees in New Jersey.
Can My Boss Fire Me for Filing an Unpaid Overtime Lawsuit?
Your company may certainly try to fire you for filing an unpaid overtime lawsuit, but it would be foolish to do so. A company not legally permitted to retaliate against you for filing a claim against it. If your employer terminates you after you asserted your right to unpaid overtime, it may be engaging in wrongful termination.
Can My Employer Require Me to Work Overtime?
In some cases, yes. An employer can require an employee to work overtime as long as it pays the appropriate overtime wages and does not violate existing employee-employer agreements. One of the exceptions to this rule exists with health care facilities. Health care facilities may only require overtime work as a last resort. They may not require employees to work overtime because they are understaffed. Before asking for employees to work overtime, they must first attempt to fill vacancies with volunteers, on-call employees, per-diem staff, and personnel staffed by temp agencies.
Contact Our Unpaid Overtime Attorneys
The attorneys at Schall and Barasch LLC have been fighting against unfair employers for long enough to know the common schemes they use to cheat workers of wages. After many years of experience in fighting these unfair practices, they have developed effective strategies in recovering unpaid overtime for their clients. Both Patricia Barasch and Richard Schall have earned reputations as tireless advocates for workers’ rights.
Fill out our confidential online form to request your initial consultation.