How some employers use job titles to avoid paying overtime

Many people strive for upward mobility at work, and positions in management are often highly coveted. Many workers assume that a management role will come with more responsibility, more respect and, ideally, a bigger paycheck at the end of the week.

However, this is not always the case. Managers and supervisors are often expected to work harder for more hours every week, which means they might not always be fairly compensated for their time. To avoid being taken advantage of by an employer, it is critical that employees in management roles understand their rights.

The management exemption

Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), “executive” employees and managers are exempt from overtime requirements. However, merely having “manager” or “supervisor” in your job title does not automatically disqualify you. Managers and supervisors must actively manage other employees to be ineligible for overtime.

Often, middle-level managers, assistant managers and associate managers do not devote the majority of their time to supervising other employees. To be ineligible for overtime, managers typically must:

  • Manage a department or other business function
  • Manage at least two other full-time employees
  • Have authority to hire or fire employees
  • Earn more than $100,000 per year

If one or more of these conditions are not met, the employee may be entitled to overtime pay. If you have any concerns about wages or overtime at your job, consider getting in touch with an employment law attorney for more guidance.

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