Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers are required to adhere to certain wage guidelines. Among other things, the FLSA obligates employers to pay an employee overtime wages for any time he or she works that is in excess of 40 hours a week. There are certain exceptions to the FLSA overtime guarantees for employees that are deemed exempt, however. In a recent case, the United States District Court of New Jersey analyzed what an employer must establish to prove the executive exemption to the FLSA applies. If you worked more than 40 hours per week but did not receive overtime wages, you should speak with a knowledgeable New Jersey overtime rights attorney to discuss whether you may be able to pursue a claim against your employer for overtime wages.
Facts Regarding the Plaintiffs’ Employment
Allegedly, the plaintiffs collectively worked as sales managers for the defendant garden and lawn supply store. The parties disputed whether the plaintiffs performed managerial duties or whether the majority of their time was spent doing merchandising work. Additionally, it was disputed how much time, if any, the plaintiffs spent supervising seasonal employees who worked below them. The plaintiffs filed a class action lawsuit against the defendant, alleging the defendant violated the FLSA by failing to pay them overtime wages. Plaintiffs and defendants both filed motions for summary judgment. Upon review the court denied both motions.
Exemptions Under the FLSA
The FLSA sets forth federal overtime guarantees that cannot be contractually waived. White collared employers who are paid a salary rather than an hourly wage are exempt from coverage under the FLSA. The courts have interpreted this to mean anyone in a bona fide administrative, executive, or professional capacity. Employers bear the burden of proving that an exemption to the FLSA overtime guarantee applies.