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Employees Misclassified as Exempt Still Must be Paid Overtime


Employers will frequently misclassify employees as exempt from overtime when, in fact, the employees do not meet the requisite qualifications for overtime exemption. In that case, it is important for employees to understand labor law and the rights which are protected by law. It is also important to consult a wage and overtime attorney if you suspect your employer may be taking advantage of you. Someone with expertise in the area can explain it more reliably than your HR department might.

Anna, a case worker for a medical management company, claims she has experienced these problems. She alleges that she regularly works 10-hour days and that, for many years, she worked as much as 12 hours a day. She works for an hourly rate, does not receive a salary, and allegedly does not supervise any other employees. According to the Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA) this means she is not qualified for overtime exemption.

According to the FLSA, an employee must do work that is mainly administrative (she must directly support an executive), professional (requiring certain skills or education level), or executive (she manages others) in nature. Anna’s job as a case worker requires her to comprise reviews of a hospital and report back to her company on a daily basis. While this makes her a professional and might make it look as though she qualifies for overtime exemption, the fact that she does not earn a salary means that the FLSA requires her to be qualified as a non-exempt hourly employee.

Not only is she allegedly not getting paid for her overtime but Anna is now also allegedly having her pay cut whenever she needs to take personal time. She says the company allegedly used to let her take an hour off every so often for things like doctor’s appointments but now, when she tries to do so, they allegedly act as though she’s doing something wrong. As she points out though, “they conveniently forget about the overtime pay.”

When Anna confronted her company’s HR department and asked how it could qualify her as exempt when she didn’t supervise anyone, she was allegedly merely told that labor law was more complicated than that. So Anna set out to educate herself. She tried contacting her state’s labor board but, as she hasn’t heard back, she is moving on to find a reliable employment attorney who can help her fight for her rights.

The Chicago overtime lawyers at the Chicago Overtime Law Center are investigating unpaid overtime claims against large corporations and hospital chains for misclassifying employees as managers, erasing or altering time sheets or time records, pressuring workers not to report or record overtime, and otherwise failing to pay workers for overtime and other wages. If you are the victim this practice call us at (312) 869-4095 or contact us online.

The Chicago overtime attorneys at the Chicago Overtime Law Center have decades of experience fighting for wage earner’s rights. We have a team of overtime attorneys who focus on nationwide class action lawsuits and work out of Chicago and Oak Brook offices and prosecute claims for workers all over the Chicago area including Schaumburg and Mount Prospect. We protect unpaid workers who haven’t received overtime throughout the Chicago area including in DuPage, Kane and Cook Counties.

Our Park Ridge, Palatine and Des Plaines overtime lawyers are intimately familiar with the issues that arise during wage claim litigation, and we know the laws that govern overtime cases well. Many employers misclassify employees as being exempt from overtime laws and pay workers salaries instead of hourly wages in order to avoid paying them overtime. Some employers mistakenly classify employees as exempt and others intentionally do so in order to circumvent the law. In either case, workers do not receive the wages they should, and a lawsuit may be the only way to recover their earned wages.

The Chicago Overtime Law Center is based in Chicago, and represents clients throughout the country who have not been paid for the overtime hours that they worked. If you believe that you are owed overtime wages, contact one of our Chicago class action attorneys by phone at (312) 869-4095 or through our online form.