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The More You Know: Wage/Hour Misclassification

By Net Assets posted 08-29-2018 01:12 PM


Human Resources |

Wage-and-hour claims are booming.

From the July/August 2018 Net Assets magazine

The following is an excerpt of the article "The More You Know," which covers nine additional topics (see box below). 

    This information is provided for general educational purposes only. It should not be relied upon as, or in place of, legal advice. The authors and reader do not have an attorney/client relationship. Readers are encouraged to work with their legal counsel when addressing specific issues.

    By Candice Pinares-Baes, Fisher Phillips

    Ms. Lovely is the administrative assistant to your head of school. She schedules all his important meetings, keeps him organized and is essential to ensuring that his days run smoothly. Given her status and the fact that she often works more than 40 hours per week, she is paid on a salary basis. After being terminated for theft, she files an unpaid overtime claim against the school. Should you be worried?

    The simple answer is yes. Wage-and-hour claims are booming, with no end in sight. Many schools make the mistake of assuming that employees are exempt from the overtime and minimum wage provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act, when in fact they often are not. Common misclassification issues in the independent school setting often arise with assistant teachers, and with administrative professionals in the business and development offices. You may think that an employee is exempt from overtime because they receive a good salary and are critical to the operation of the school. However, simply paying someone a salary does not automatically make them exempt from being paid minimum wage and overtime. In fact, the legal exemptions are very narrow, and it is the school’s burden to prove that an individual falls within the exemptions.

    Now is a good time to review your employee classifications and assess whether employees are properly compensated. You may want to engage counsel to conduct an audit of your workforce to hone in on potential problem areas and provide guidance on how best to reach full compliance with the wage and hour laws.

    Candice Pinares-Baezbased in Florida, is with Fisher Phillips.

    Download a PDF of this article.



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