A federal overtime lawsuit brought on behalf of current and former FedEx Ground service managers recently settled for $2 million. The lawsuit – Bozak v. FedEx Ground Package System Inc. – was filed in May 2011 and claimed that line-haul service managers were mislabeled as exempt from overtime pay, despite frequently performing the work of hourly employees.
FedEx denied the allegations, asserting that the managers’ employment classification was proper under the “administrative exemption” of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which requires that:
- The employee must be compensated on a salary or fee basis at a rate not less than $455 per week;
- The employee’s primary duty must be the performance of office or non-manual work directly related to the management or general business operations of the employer or the employer’s customers; and
- The employee’s primary duty includes the exercise of discretion and independent judgment with respect to matters of significance.
According to the FLSA, even if employees hold a “manager” job title, they may still be entitled to overtime if the exemption test is not met. Likewise, written job descriptions do not control whether the employees are exempt from overtime; rather, courts review employees’ actual job duties and experiences to determine whether their eligibility for overtime pay. If the exemption criteria are not met, employees are entitled to overtime pay at one and one-half times their regular rate for all work over 40 hours in a workweek.
If you believe your employer has misclassified you as an exempt employee, contact Sommers Schwartz’s Wage & Hour Litigation attorneys for a free consultation – we’re here to help.