Exempt employee being paid hourly. Is this legal?

Hello -

I am classified as an exempt employee for a professional services firm, computer related. My employer requires me to turn in time sheets for both payroll and billing purposes. If there is a problem with my timesheet(s) (i.e. it is not signed by the client), they only pay me for the time on the "correct" time sheets.

Is this legal? I thought as an exempt employee that I am required by law to receive the same amount in my pay every pay period.

If this isn't legal, do I have any recourse to get them to change their policies? Is there grounds for a class action suit or some such measure?

Thank you,
- Rory
(216) 548-3875

1 answer  |  asked Apr 5, 2001 09:51 AM [EST]  |  applies to Ohio

Answers (1)

Neil Klingshirn
Your employer may have lost your exemption from overtime.

Hi Rory:

You ask a good question. I am not sure of the answer but will try to point you in the right direction.

Your employer appears to be claiming an exemption from paying you overtime because you are a salaried, professional employee. In any week in which you are either not paid "on a salaried basis" or are not performing "professional" duties, you are entitled to time and a half for the hours worked that week in excess of 40.

You question whether your employer lost your exempt status during any of the weeks that it docked you for "incorrect" time sheets. I think that the answer is "yes" but could not confirm that in the several minutes I devoted to checking. You can contact the U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division and either make an informal inquiry or else file a formal complaint. The DOL will investigate on behalf of everyone affected by this practice. I can find the answer for you, but I charge $185 an hour. It would probably take me 1/2 hour to get you an accurate and complete answer.

If more than one person is affected, you can file on behalf of all of them, so long as they are "similarly situated" to you. This means anyone else being docked for incorrect time sheets.

Finally, remember that you always have the option of bringing this up with your employer. That is often the best place to start. Your employer cannot lawfully retaliate against you for questioning this.



posted by Neil Klingshirn  |  Apr 10, 2001 8:08 PM [EST]

Answer This Question

Sign In to Answer this Question

Related Questions with Answers

Have an Employment Law question?

Contact Neil Klingshirn

Neil Klingshirn
AV rated Super Lawyer and Employment Law Specialist
Independence, OH
Phone: 216-382-2500