ATLANTA — A group of employees who work for Family Dollar Stores filed suit against their employer for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), such as failing pay overtime and minimum wage for all hours worked. Family Dollar has filed a motion to have the case dismissed, contending that because the employees had the title of store manager, they were therefore covered by FLSA’s executive exemption. The workers countered by arguing that they did not perform any managerial tasks.
FLSA Executive Exemption
For the Family Dollar employees to qualify for the executive employee exemption, the following factors must be satisfied:
- The employee’s compensation must be on a salary basis at a rate not less than $455 per week;
- The employee’s main duty must be managing a recognized department or subdivision of the company;
- The employee must supervise at least two or more full-time employees on a regular basis; and
- The employee must be able to hire or fire other employees or, at least, have substantial input on the change of status of employees, i.e, hiring, firing advancement, promotion, etc.
The key to qualify for the executive employee exemption is actual management responsibilities and not the job title involved. According to the Wage and Hour Division, which is the agency within the Department of Labor tasked with enforcing FLSA, management includes, but is not limited to, activities such as:
- Interviewing, selecting, and training of employees;
- Setting and adjusting their rates of pay and hours of work;
- Directing the work of employees;
- Appraising employees’ productivity and efficiency for the purpose of recommending promotions or other changes in status;
- Handling employee complaints and grievances and disciplining employees; and
- Planning the work, which may involve determining the techniques to be used, apportioning the work among the employees, determining the type of materials, supplies, machinery, equipment or tools to be used or merchandise to be bought, stocked and sold, and controlling the flow and distribution of materials or merchandise and supplies; and
- Providing for the safety and security of the employees or the property.
According to the plaintiffs, even though they held the title of store manager, their duties did not reflect that managerial capacity. One of the plaintiffs worked for a weekly salary of $700 and clocked on average 66 hours of work. Another plaintiff worked for a weekly salary of $675 for the same number of hours. In response, Family Dollar argued that the plaintiffs’ duties included opening and closing the store, transferring money from a safe to a till, filing register reports, ordering merchandise and training and managing other employees.
If you or someone you know is misclassified as an exempt employee under one of FLSA’s exemptions and has an actual claim for unpaid overtime wages, you should call (855) 754-2795 or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form on the top right of this page. Our top rated team of wage lawyers will evaluate your situation to determine your best course of action. We will also determine if it is in your best interest to file a lawsuit against your employer. There are strict time limitations for filing so it is important that you call our experienced attorneys today.