Employees working in sales are not always eligible for overtime compensation when they work more than eight hours a day or forty hours a week, but employers can’t just give a worker the title of “sales representative” and think that’s enough to classify them as exempt from overtime.
Although the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does allow certain employees to be held exempt from the requirement to pay one and one-half times their normal hourly wage for overtime spent working, the legislation is very specific about the requirements employees need to meet in order to qualify for the exemption. Nevertheless, many employers are always looking for ways to save a buck and the methods they choose are not always legal. Misclassifying employees as exempt from overtime compensation, even when they don’t qualify, is a common way for employers to get the most amount of work out of their employees for the lowest cost.
According to a recent class action wage and hour lawsuit against Herr Foods Inc., the potato chip manufacturer allegedly violated the FLSA and Pennsylvania wage laws by refusing to pay their delivery drivers the proper overtime compensation when they worked more than forty hours a week. According to the complaint, the delivery drivers were called “route sales representatives” and were paid a salary in addition to a commission that was based on the sales the drivers made to retailers on their delivery routes. That method of payment allegedly did not cover proper overtime compensation for the drivers, who claim they worked 50 hours per week on average. Continue reading