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The blurring line between salaried and hourly employees

On Behalf of | Apr 9, 2016 | Wage And Hour Claims

While there are perks to be in salaried positions of power, many companies exploit those employees who work long hours that include their regular duties and helping hourly employees keep up during peak times. Managers who take this “hands-on” approach to their job usually do not see an uptick in their paycheck for that extra work.

While many salaried workers have accepted those limitations, others are beginning to push back when the line between hourly and salary is blurred.

A potentially groundbreaking class action lawsuit

Former managers once employed by Cadete Enterprises Inc., the owner of multiple Dunkin’ Donuts franchises, have filed suit over their ex-employer misclassifying them as exempt from overtime wages. In a proposed wage and hour class action lawsuit in Massachusetts, attorneys are asking a federal judge to allow plaintiffs to reach out to all managers who worked for the franchisor over the last two years and provide them the chance to join the lawsuit.

In what has been considered an unprecedented ruling, the First Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that former managers had a viable Fair Labor Standards Act claim. However, history shows that past decisions have gone against these employees seeking overtime pay.

The ex-employees are considered “similarly situated” due to their ongoing exemption from overtime compensation. The suit cites Dunkin’ Donuts onsite management was habitually taking on tasks customarily reserved for non-exempt staff that included food service and clean-up tasks.

The wall between salaried work and hourly duties is beginning to crumble. A manager’s hard work that goes above and beyond standard duties should be something to reward, not withhold.