NEW YORK — Contract representatives recently settled their overtime pay class action lawsuit with Bloomberg LP for $5.4 million. The lawsuit was filed in federal court in January 2013 and represents nearly 430 employees. The contract representatives believe they were misclassified as exempt. And they claim they worked over 40 hours a week and more than 10 hours a day, but were never paid for their overtime in violation of state and federal laws. Additionally, they claim Bloomberg failed to properly record the time they worked. Bloomberg did not deny that the contract representatives worked more than 40 hours or 10 hour shifts. But, Bloomberg claims the employees were exempt and not entitled to overtime.
Both the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and New York state law require non-exempt employees receive time and a half for all hours worked in a week beyond 40 hours. New York State also has a law that requires that employers pay an additional hour of minimum wage rate if an employee works more than 10 hours in a workday. Although, if an employee earns more than minimum wage federal courts will not apply New York’s extra hour of pay provision; overtime pay requirements will still be enforced regardless of the court.
Whether contract representatives are exempt or nonexempt was the main question in this lawsuit. There are only five general groups of employees that qualify for exempt status. These include executives, administrators, professionals, outside sales, and computer employees. Employers must look at the employee’s duties and pay to determine their status.
In this case, contract representatives respond to customer issues through a ticket system, answer customer service calls, and complete data entry and other clerical and filing duties. Tasks are given to them from their supervisors, so they have no say in their schedule or daily activities. They also receive a flat annual salary. Usually exempt employees have some autonomy or decision making authority, which does not appear to be the case here. Also while receiving an annual salary is a common feature of exempt positions, it does not automatically lead to exempt status if that salary is below the level set by the FLSA.
Determining if you are an exempt or nonexempt employee can be complicated and may come down to the fine details. If you or someone you know is a contract representative and you believe that you have been denied overtime, call our experienced team of overtime pay lawyers today at (855) 754-2795 to discuss your case. Or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form on the top right of this page and our knowledgeable legal team will evaluate your situation. If we accept your case, we will represent you under our No Fee Promise. This means there are no legal fees or costs unless you receive a settlement.