COLLECT THE OVERTIME WAGES YOU ARE OWED BY YOUR BIG FOUR FIRM!

DID THEY GIVE YOU A SALARY BUT WORK YOU
AS A "PROFESSIONAL" IN NAME ONLY?

WHY WOULD YOU BE OWED OVERTIME IF YOU WERE NEVER PAID BY THE HOUR AND PAID A SALARY AND HAD A COLLEGE OR GRADUATE DEGREE? 

BECAUSE THE LAW ONLY EXEMPTS EMPLOYERS FROM PAYING OVERTIME TO SALARIED "PROFESSIONALS" WITH THE PROPER PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION AND/OR LICENSE AND WHO ALSO SPEND MOST OF THEIR TIME PERFORMING "PROFESSIONAL" LEVEL WORK INVOLVING THE USE OF INDEPENDENT JUDGMENT AND DISCRETION.

 

There is a great deal of misunderstanding regarding when employees are entitled to overtime pay. As a general rule, most employees are presumed to be entitled to overtime wages unless their employer is able to establish that the employee is exempt from the payment of mandatory overtime wages. Paying an employee a salary does not, by itself, exempt an employer from paying overtime wages to the employee.

To be an overtime exempt salaried professional employee a worker must have both:

1) Undergone an extended and advanced course of professional study, typically meaning that they have secured both a specialized undergraduate and graduate degree and/or been licensed as a professional (for example as a CPA or an attorney).  A worker possessing only a general academic education cannot be treated as an overtime exempt professional.
  
AND

2) Be employed predominately performing work of a "professional" nature. This means actually performing work requiring independent judgment and discretion and of an intellectual nature. For example, simply gathering audit data in compliance with specific, and largely inflexible, instructions requiring no significant independent decision making and entering it into a spreadsheet would not constitute audit work of a "professional" nature. Making the decisions about the kind or scope of information to gather in connection with an audit, and how that information should be interpreted or applied, might well constitute work of a "professional" nature.

The bottom line: Just because an employee has a college or graduate degree and is called a "professional" and is paid a salary does not make him overtime exempt. Even an employee having a license as a CPA or attorney may be entitled to overtime wages if he is not performing work of a "professional" nature.

Because salaried employees do not receive any pre-determined "hourly rate" overtime pay for such employees is calculated based upon a Court determining what their effective "hourly rate" was and then awarding the employee overtime (time and one-half pay or in some situations double time pay) based upon that effective "hourly rate." Exactly how this overtime pay is calculated varies under different State and Federal laws, but it can be very substantial.

An employer is not excused from paying overtime because it has paid a "bonus" to an employee, or paid an employee a higher salary to somehow "compensate" the employee for their longer hours of work.  State and Federal wage and hour laws are applied quite strictly.  An employee who is not exempt (either as a professional or for another reason) from the payment of overtime must receive overtime IN ADDITION to whatever salary or bonus they were paid.  Often employers ignore these strict requirements by simply paying a flat salary, when they could, if they wished, just pay an hourly wage plus overtime that would have been approximately equal to that salary.  Employers are liable for unpaid overtime wages as a result of engaging in this sort of "wage structure failure" (paying a flat salary instead of an equivalent hourly wage plus overtime).

An employer is also not excused from paying overtime because no exact records exist of the time an employee worked.  The employer is required by law to keep accurate employee time records.  If exact time records were not kept (often employers do not have salaried employees "punch the clock") the court can award the employee overtime wages based upon the employee's approximation of the typical hours he worked.


ATTORNEY ADVERTISEMENT, Leon Greenberg, Esq., 633 S. 4th Street #4, Las Vegas, Nevada 89101 (702) 383-8109 Wagelaw at Hotmail.com.  The Opinions Expressed Here Are Those Of Leon Greenberg And Are Based Upon Existing Law And Precedent. No Claim Is Made Or Can Be Made That Persons Deciding To Participate In Any Lawsuit Are Guaranteed To Receive A Financial Benefit. Leon Greenberg Was Originally Admitted to Practice In New York In 1993 And Subsequently Has Also Been Admitted To The New Jersey (1993), Nevada (2002), California (2003), And Pennsylvania (2006) Bars. Leon Greenberg Graduated Magna Cum Laude From New York Law School In 1992. Leon Greenberg Is Licensed to Practice Law In The States Of New York, Nevada, California, Pennsylvania and New Jersey And Various Federal Courts And Also Practices Law In Certain Individual Cases In Other States Through An Affiliation With Attorneys Licensed To Practice Law In Those States. This Website Is Not An Advertisement To Provide Legal Representation In Any Jurisdiction Where Leon Greenberg Is Not Currently Admitted to Practice Law.