A recent California settlement on behalf of hourly-paid Store Managers, Assistant Managers and Associates illustrates an important point that workers should be reminded of – job titles and duties are not the only things that determine which employees are entitled to overtime pay and other labor law protections. The other critical element is pay. Specifically, the pay structure and the guaranteed weekly amount (in California, weekly salary must equal at least 2 times the state minimum wage x 40 hours). If both the duties and pay requirements are not met, an employee is considered non-exempt and is entitled to overtime pay.
If you are paid hourly, there are very few exceptions to the rule that you are entitled to overtime pay – regardless of your title or job duties.
In the recent case brought by hourly-paid employees of Sherwin-Williams in California, the company settled numerous state labor law claims for a payment of over $3.6 million. The main issues involved the legality of the company’s wage and hour policies and practices, including its pay plan, meal policies, and expense reimbursement plan, as well as the validity of defendant’s wage statements.
The employees’ claims arose from allegations that the company violated the California Labor Code, UCL, and applicable Wage Orders issued by the California Industrial Welfare Commission by failing to pay class members all wages owed for all hours worked, including failure to:
- pay proper overtime wages;
- provide all legally required meal and rest periods;
- furnish accurate wage statements; and
- reimburse for all work-related expenses.
The wage claims asserted by the workers under California labor law more specifically included: (1) failure to pay all wages; (2) failure to pay proper overtime; (3) failure to provide all meal periods; (4) failure to authorize and permit all paid rest periods; (5) failure to pay proper meal and/or rest period premium wages; (6) failure to timely furnish accurate itemized wage statements; (7) failure to fully reimburse work expenses; (8) penalties pursuant to the California Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) and (9) violations of the California Business and Professions Code Unfair Competition Law.
The result in this case is consistent with prior cases involving management employees who were not compensated on a salary-basis. Where such employees have been paid hourly, or even on a day-rate, it has repeatedly been held that such workers are not properly classified as exempt and are entitled to overtime pay (at least 1.5 times the regular rate of pay), even though they legitimately held management titles and performed many supervisory and administrative job functions.
In California cases where workers sue their employers for wage and overtime violations, they seek to recover not only back wages, but state law penalties, costs and attorneys’ fees as well.
Have You Been Denied Overtime Pay, Breaks or Other Rights?
Because of the strict time limits imposed by the labor laws, procrastination can be costly. If you have any doubts as to whether your job duties and/or your pay method satisfy the legal requirements for exemption from overtime pay and other labor law rights, contact the experts at The Lore Law Firm for a free and confidential review.
Call 1-866-559-0400 or submit your information using our convenient Case Evaluation form for a FREE and CONFIDENTIAL review of your circumstances – because time is money.