Misclassification by a State Official

Misclassification by a State Official

TAMPA, Fla. — A suit was filed in a Florida court by an employee of the Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court & Country Comptroller in Dade City, alleging that the state office violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The suit aims to include, as part of the class of plaintiffs, anyone who was similarly employed by the clerk’s office within the three-year period preceding her filing as a salaried, exempt employee and who worked more than 40 hours in any week. According to the plaintiff, the clerk’s office employed over 200 employees at any given time and within the past three years may have employed as many as 500 employees in similar situations.

Wrongly Exempted from FLSA

The plaintiff worked in the clerk’s office under various titles, such as deputy clerk and manager of accounting and financial reporting, after spending several years as an internal auditor. The agency did not require her to hold credentials as a licensed certified public accountant, and her work consisted of standard accounting and bookkeeping duties and preparing routine, standardized reports for the county and state.

According to the suit, the clerk’s office misclassified her and potentially several hundred other staffers as exempt employees, thus failing to pay them overtime as required by FLSA. The suit states that the plaintiff was regularly expected to work more than 40 hours per week without receiving overtime pay, and that her hours were not recorded by the clerk’s office because she was exempt. She claims that was was a willful violation of FLSA and therefore the class should be awarded unpaid overtime and damages, as well as the value of under-funding the workers’ retirement plans and other benefits resulting from the lack of overtime payments.

FLSA and the Duties Test for Exemptions

FLSA exempts certain employees from its minimum wage and overtime requirements, and courts generally apply the duties test to determine whether an employee falls within one of these exemptions. The duties test for exemption looks at the type of work an employee performs. Generally, exempt employees tend to perform high-level tasks with respect to the company’s overall operations irrespective of job title. Executive employees generally supervise two or more other employees, performs the primary duties of management, and has genuine input into other workers’ employment status. Professional employees include lawyers, physicians, teachers, architects, nurses, and others who perform work that requires advanced education or training and the use of discretion or judgment. Administrative employees are those workers whose main duties directly involve supporting the company’s business operations, such as payroll, accounting, human resources, or public relations.

FLSA’s exemptions are narrow, and most employees are likely not exempt and should be afforded the wage protections. You should call (855) 754-2795 or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form on the top right of this page if you feel that you have been wrongly classified as an exempt employee. 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.

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