The Types of FLSA Overtime Exemptions In Ohio
A recent Supreme Court case significantly expanded the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime exemptions. As a result, fewer workers in Columbus may be eligible for time-and-a-half and other wage benefits.
In Encino Motorcars v. Navarro, a sharply-divided Court held that automobile dealer service advisers were primarily salesmen and therefore not eligible for overtime. Writing for the majority, Justice Clarence Thomas heavily relied on an “or” in the statute to justify the conclusion. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote a lengthy dissent in which the other three liberal justices joined.
Overtime Exemption Categories in Columbus
Navarro is just the latest in a long series of struggles over the definition and meaning of overtime eligibility under the FLSA. In 2017, then-President Barack Obama tried to essentially rewrite the rules in a way that would benefit employees, but business groups successfully blocked the changes.
One inherent issue with the FLSA classification rules is that they are extremely broad. Lawmakers intentionally drafted them in this way, so they could apply to a wide range of situations. So, it’s very important to have an experienced attorney in these cases who will give your interpretation a strong voice.
The categories have remained relatively unchanged over the years. Some of the most common overtime exemptions are:
- Commissioned Salespeople: The worker must be an employee of a service or retail establishment, make at least half his/her income from commissions, and average at least one-and-a-half times the minimum wage. That figure is $12.45 an hour in Ohio.
- Computer Professionals: Certain IT and other degreed professionals who earn at least $27.63 an hour cannot receive overtime. Normally, the worker must be a full-time computer professional and not the office technology troubleshooter.
- Drivers: Loaders, mechanics, drivers, drivers’ assistants, and other such workers are not eligible for overtime. These individuals must be engaged in interstate commerce, a phrase which is very broadly defined.
- Regular Salespeople: This was the exemption issue in Navarro. Under the rule, the worker needs only be substantially engaged in sales activities. These activities do not need to be full time.
- Executive and Professional: This category is quite controversial as well. People do not necessarily meet this definition just because they have professional degrees. Many lawyers and other workers make almost no executive or management-level decisions and requirements for the exemption are extremely subjective.
Some farmworkers, agricultural laborers, and other seasonal employees are also ineligible for overtime under the FLSA.
Illegal Deduction Claims in Columbus
Salaried employees are usually ineligible for overtime, but they have some other protections. For example, it’s much more difficult for employers to dock their paychecks. The only allowable deductions are:
- A full day absence (any part of the day counts as the whole day for FLSA purposes),
- Pro rata Family Medical Leave Act leave,
- Paid jury or other government service,
- Some disciplinary actions, and
- Partial first or last week of employment.
These rules are quite complex. If money was unexpectedly missing from your check, talk to an attorney about the situation.
Work with Experienced Lawyers
The wage/hour rules are in a near-constant state of change. For a free consultation with an experienced employment discrimination attorney in Columbus, contact Marshall Forman & Schlein LLC. We routinely handle matters in Franklin County and jurisdictions throughout Ohio.