Another in our series of answers to questions from our September 28 webinar on wage and hour law in higher education:
Articles Discussing Overtime Exemptions Under The FLSA.
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about an initiative by the U.S. Department of Labor, IRS and various state agencies to launch a coordinated crack-down on employers who misclassify employees as independent contractors. Recently, a U.S. District Court in Ohio issued a ruling that nicely illustrates the problem of misclassifcation and the potential liabilities that employers can face as a result.
My Company anticipates embarking on a big project this fall that will have extreme importance to the Companyâ€™s future and require extra hours at the office. The Company wants to give a little extra pay to employees who work on this important project. A number of these employees are classified as exempt. May the Company provide extra compensation to exempt employees for their work on this project?
Recently, another group of pharmaceutical sales representatives successfully demonstrated that they are not exempt from overtime under the FLSA. Kuzinski, et al., v. Schering Corp Focusing on the administrative exemption, the District Court of Connecticut held that the sales representativesâ€™ work was not directly related to Scheringâ€™s management or general business operations and they lacked the necessary exercise of discretion and independent judgment to meet the requirements of the exemption. The sales representatives did not directly sell pharmaceutical products, instead individualizing Scheringâ€™s canned sales pitch to promote certain products to identified customers. At the end of the day, the sales representatives simply used the core messages and promotional strategies developed by Schering, rather than developing those messages and strategies themselves.