While the U.S. Supreme Court continues to be down one judge, the high court has been holding out on taking strong positions on new issues, such as whether auto service advisors should qualify for overtime compensation under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
While the FLSA defines overtime as any time spent working after eight hours a day or forty hours a week and requires employers to pay their workers one and one-half times their normal hourly wages for all the overtime they work, the law also allows certain employees to be held exempt from the requirement for overtime compensation. One of the categories of employees that qualify for the overtime exemption under the FLSA is the professional category, which includes any employee whose job requires them to have a particular set of skills or level of education. This category is generally understood to include mechanics and salespeople, among others, but the question currently at hand is whether auto service advisors qualify for the professional category.
Auto service advisors neither sell vehicles nor perform maintenance on them. Rather, they consult with customers as to whether they need service performed on their vehicle, and if so, which services they need. As a result, auto service advisors can’t be qualified as mechanics, although their job requires them to have a similar knowledge base and skillset to mechanics. They also don’t quite fit into the sales category, although their job does mean they play an important role in the sale of services, rather than vehicles, to customers. Continue reading