Dispelling the 10 Biggest Wage and Hour Myths: Part IV

Wage and Hour Myth #4

Job title dictates exempt status.   NEVER!  Simply inserting the word “supervisor,” “executive,” or “manager” into an employee’s job title does not make the employee “exempt” from the overtime provisions of the FLSA (e.g., Assistant Manager, Shift Supervisor, Executive Assistant, Custodial Manager, Environmental Specialist).  In order to qualify for exempt status under the FLSA, the employee must satisfy ALL of the requirements of one of the Act’s exemptions.  The primary exemptions are the administrative, executive, and professional exemptions.

Some employers incorrectly assume that all supervisors or managers are exempt simply because of their job title.  On the contrary, in order qualify for the FLSA’s executive exemption, the employee must meet all of the following requirements:  (1) guaranteed weekly salary of at least $455 per week (although the Department of Labor is once again considering an increase in the salary threshold); (2) primary duty is managing the employer or a customarily recognized department or subdivision of the employer; (3) the employee regularly supervises two or more full-time employees or their equivalent; and (4) the employee has the authority to hire/fire or the employee’s recommendations in this regard are given particular weight by management. If the “supervisor” or “manager” does not satisfy all of these requirements, he or she is NOT exempt from the FLSA’s overtime provisions and must be paid overtime for all hours worked in excess of 40 in a workweek.

The same holds true for the other primary FLSA exemptions—the professional and administrative exemptions.  The employee’s job title is irrelevant to whether or not the employee’s job is exempt or non-exempt.  In order to be exempt, the employee must meet all of the requirements for one of the FLSA’s exemptions.

Check back tomorrow for Wage and Hour Myth #5.