CHICAGO — According to the Tribune, a former employee of Raise Marketplace filed suit against the company for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). According to the suit, the company failed to pay the plaintiff overtime pay as he was misclassified as exempt from FLSA. The plaintiff was employed by Raise Marketplace as a “Customer Service Tech Support Manager” and was paid as a salaried employee to answer phones, help customers with gift card orders, and do general office work. The suit alleges that the plaintiff earned $500 per week but worked 50 to 65 hours during some weeks from October 2011 through June 2013.
Requirements for Exemption
The plaintiff in this case was considered by the company as exempt from FLSA. The company likely considered him to be an executive employee and likely exempt from overtime if:
- The employee is compensated on a salary basis at a rate not less than $455 per week;
- The employee’s primary duties are managing the business of the company or managing a normally-recognized department or subdivision of the company;
- The employee customarily and regularly directs the work of at least two or more other full-time employees or their equivalent; and
- The employee has the authority to hire or fire other employees, or to suggest and recommend as to the hiring, firing, advancement, promotion, or any other change of status of other employees.
Calling an employee a “manager” is likely insufficient to qualify for this exemption. Job titles do not determine status as an exempt employee. In order for an exemption to apply, an employee’s specific job duties and salary must meet the factors for FLSA exemption.
Use of Independent Judgment for Exemption
The plaintiff alleges that, in performing his duties, he did not exercise much in the way of independent judgment to qualify under the FLSA exemption. Under FLSA, independent judgment involves the comparison and evaluation of possible courses of action and acting or making a decision after the different possibilities have been considered. This independent judgment must be more than the use of skill in applying well-established techniques or procedures, but implies that an employee has authority to make an independent choice, free from immediate direction or supervision.
If you or someone you know is misclassified as exempt and therefore not paid overtime as required by FLSA, 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.