What is misclassification and why is it important? To start, every worker has a classification. Employers classify every worker as either exempt or non-exempt. These classifications are quite important, because exempt workers are not entitled to overtime pay, but non-exempt workers are. So, misclassification can be costly. If an employer misclassifies an employee as exempt, then the employer can make that employee work overtime without paying for it. But there is help. A misclassification lawyer can help misclassified employees, recover the overtime pay to which they are entitled.
Both federal and state law require employers to pay non-exempt employees for overtime, but, both federal and CAlifornia law make the right to overtime pay contingent on the employee’s classification.Federal Law
The Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) is the federal law governing overtime pay. FLSA requires employers to pay covered employees the minimum wage. FLSA further requires employers to pay covered employees overtime pay if the covered employees work more than 40 hours in a given workweek. Whether or not an employee is covered under FLSA depends on that employee’s classification.
There are two main classifications: non-exempt and exempt. Employers are required to pay non-exempt employees overtime pay. But employers are not required to pay exempt employees overtime pay. In general, FLSA exempts “white collar” employees from overtime pay, such as:
- executives employees;
- administrative professionals;
- learned Professionals;
- computer employees;
- outside sales;
- highly compensated employees;
- independent contractors.
Most other workers, especially “blue collar” workers are non-exempt. and therefore entitled to overtime pay. But problems arise when employers miscategorize non-exempt employees as exempt. If an employer misclassifies a non-exempt employee as “exempt,” then the employer can deny the employee overtime pay, costing the employee money and time.California Law
In addition to FLSA, California workers also enjoy certain rights under state law. Like FLSA, the California Labor Code requires employers to pay non-exempt employees overtime pay. Unlike FLSA, the California labor code makes more employees eligible for overtime pay; so an employee might be exempt from FLSA, but non-exempt under the California Labor Code. Despite the California Labor Code’s broader classifications, a California could nonetheless deny an employee overtime pay, by misclassifying that employee as exempt.Penalties
Employees who have been misclassified are not without redress. Under Federal and state law, employees are entitled to recover back pay unpaid overtime, sometimes at a double rate, as well as the costs of litigation from their employer.A Misclassification Lawyer Can Help
Misclassification is, unfortunately, very common. If you suspect that your employer has misclassified you as exempt and denied you overtime pay, you do not have to forfeit your rights. The misclassification lawyers at Nassiri Law Group, practicing in Orange County, Riverside, and Los Angeles can help you recover the overtime pay you deserve. Call today at 949.375.4734 for a free case evaluation.