Connecticut Overtime Pay: Employee Misclassification

HELPLINE

There is a plethora of misinformation about Connecticut overtime pay. One of the primary areas of confusion relates to which workers are entitled to Connecticut overtime pay and which workers are not entitled to overtime.

The reason so many people are confused is that their employers often get it wrong. According to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, there are a series of tests an employer should use to determine whether or not an employee is entitled to overtime pay or is exempt from overtime pay.

Examples of those who are exempt from overtime pay are workers who are in executive, administrative, or professional positions. (There are some specific jobs that are also exempt, such as car salespeople, elder caregivers, and commercial fishermen.) All too often, employers engage in employee misclassification, whereby they label workers as exempt when they don’t, in fact, meet the criteria for exemption. This gets employers off the hook for paying overtime, but makes employees suffer.

While there are certain exceptions, the determination of exemption or non-exemption revolves around the person’s type of pay, rate of pay, and job duties. The first test is that someone exempt from overtime has to be paid a salary (as opposed to a variable amount based upon the number of hours worked). So, for example, your salaried pay has to be the same regardless of the quantity or quality of work produced. If you are paid a salary, but you don’t receive your full salary each pay period in which you worked, you are likely entitled to be compensated for any overtime you work.

Next, in order to be considered exempt from overtime, an employee has to be paid at least $455 per week. Regardless of what job title you have, if your salary is less than $455 per week, you are likely entitled to be compensated for any overtime you work.

Finally, in order to be considered exempt from overtime, you have to have specific job duties. For example, to meet the administrative exemption, you have to do management-related work and use independent judgment. For example, if you are an accountant and have discretion in how to categorize a company’s expenses, that may constitute an administrative exemption for overtime pay. On the other hand, if you are a bookkeeper who enters accounts payable into a ledger but you can’t authorize payments, you are probably not exempt from overtime pay.

If you’ve been labeled as an “exempt” employee, but don’t have job duties that include things like exercising independent judgment, setting policy, supervising employees, or making personnel decisions, chances are you’ve been “misclassified.” Employee misclassification results in you being denied the protections and benefits that you deserve under the law.

If you suspect you may have been subject to employee classification, it’s time to contact an employee rights lawyer. You may be entitled to overtime pay and benefits. Because the employer who is in the wrong is required to pay your attorney fees, hiring an employee rights lawyer shouldn’t cost you a dime out of pocket.

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