In California, employees who otherwise meet the definition of a supervisor must earn twice minimum wage in order to be exempt from overtime. For example, if an employee is called a supervisor, works a ten hour day, but only earns $12.00 an hour the employee must be paid overtime. The same is true if the employee works more than forty hours in a week. Employees who are owed overtime are also owed double time.
Overtime laws are governed by both California and Federal law. For many years, California overtime laws have been more favorable than Federal overtime laws. Today, the road to make Federal overtime laws more favorable than California overtime laws began. Obama signed an executive order directing the Federal Labor Department to increase the amount a supervisor must make to be exempt from overtime.
Presently, a supervisor seeking overtime under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (Federal overtime laws also referred to as the FLSA) must earn $455.00 a week. One economist suggested the amount required to exempt a supervisor from overtime be raised to $983.00 a week in order to adjust for inflation since the last time this overtime exemption was written into law. Obama believes supervisors who earn less than $1,000.00 a week should not be exempt from overtime. An amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act has not yet occurred and federal law remains at the $455.00 a week level. However, it is believed that Federal overtime law will be amended in the next six months. An amendment to Federal overtime laws is projected to affect 3.1 million supervisors who earn between $456.00-$1,000.00 a week, but are not paid overtime for shifts in excess of 40 hours a week.
When and if Obama’s Federal overtime supervisory exemptions pass, the Employment Lawyers Group will use Federal law to recover overtime for supervisors who earn less per week than the Federal weekly threshold a supervisor must earn to be exempt from overtime.
The Employment Lawyers Group has handled numerous cases in which an employee is either misclassified as a supervisor, or the supervisor does not earn enough to be exempt from overtime. We have seen particular abuses of supervisory overtime in the restaurant industry and with resident apartment managers who are not paid twice minimum wage, but the employer considers exempt and does not pay them for overtime.
If you are owed overtime due to your employment in California, or you were fired for questioning your employer’s overtime or unpaid wages, please contact our firm.