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You are here: Law & Politics Government DOL Violates Own Rule and Pays $7 Million
In 2006, the American Federation of Government Employees Local 12 filed a collective action complaint against the DOL asserting that it had misclassified nonexempt workers as being ineligible for overtime pay. Turns out, the DOL’s misclassification of certain administrative employees based on their salary levels and duties left many employees working overtime hours for years without compensation, according to a statement by Snider and Associates, the Maryland-based legal firm representing the employee’s union.

Under rules laid out by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), a federal statute that is under the oversight of the federal DOL, nonexempt employees “must receive overtime pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek at a rate not less than time and one-half their regular rates of pay.”

That reads like a clear cut guideline, but its application isn’t nearly as simple.

It requires determination of which employees are non-exempt and which employees are exempt.

As an example, the “duties” test designates a variety of administrative, executive and professional job duties that “can” exempt employees from overtime eligibility.

A company can be held liable for overtime pay even if supervisors did not pre-authorize the overtime, but knew that the tasks at hand would require additional work hours to complete.

Introducing a policy requiring supervisor signatures to approve overtime is one method a company can use to control mandatory overtime expenses.

Beginning Dec. 1, 2016, new legislation increases the salary threshold for exemption from $23,660 annually to $47,476 annually.
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