My actual job duties include more than 20% non-exempt tasks. What...

...is needed to demonstrate that they are "not an essential part of and necessarily incident to" my exempt duties. My non-exepmt tasks include: repair, maintenance, calibration, and cleaning of equipment, monitoring and obtaining lab supplies, assembly and dis-assembly of samples, preparation of samples, conducting tests according to set procedures, assembly of semi-custom test rigs, conducting and monitoring tests, preparing test reports both form type and customized, reviewing test results against published standards, repairing customer returns. These tasks are performed mostly to set procedures and manufacturer's literature, and the quality of this work is based on my physical skill and manual energy, and my previous "on the job" experience. My exempt tasks (using the professional exemption rules) include: evaluating product design features against published standards, reviewing engineering prints and product labeling, serving as safety agency liason to customers and vendors, providing customer phone support on the above tasks, assisting in design and cost savings projects. When I have mentioned my legal status to HR, I was told "you have an engineering title, so you're exempt". I replied that much of my job is technician/manual tasks. The reply was "that doesn't matter". I only recently became aware that Illinois has a statute in place to maintain an earlier version of the Federal law, so the 20% duties clause is still in place. I have been keeping track of OT worked since late 2005, when additional product lines were developed and launched and workload was increased dramatically. I have not ever been told to specifically work additional hours, but have been given deadlines impossible to meet without extra time spent. My paycheck shows an hourly rate and that I am paid for 40 hours, but always am paid the full "weekly" amount. (so I am considered salaried) In your opinion, would I have standing to discuss this more openly with my HR department or submit a claim with the state of IL? Thanks.

3 answers  |  asked Feb 9, 2010 3:25 PM [EST]  |  applies to Illinois

Answers (3)

Ryan Nalley
According to your statements above, the information provided by your employer is categorically incorrect, and you are likely owed a significant amount of unpaid overtime wages. However, as mentioned, it is crucial that you act immediately in unpaid wage cases because the statute of limitations begins running immediately, and in effect, your claim to back wages gets smaller with each passing weak.

If you wish to speak to an attorney about this you may contact me directly at 773.621.7809. I also generally advise against relying on the Illinois Department of Labor in wage and hour matters, if you are able to consult with an attorney.

Sincerely,

Ryan Scott Nalley

posted by Ryan Nalley  |  Feb 25, 2010 06:48 AM [EST]
John Otto
To answer your specific question, yes, you have standing to discuss this with your HR department and to submit a claim with the Illinois Department of Labor. The Statute of Limitations on Wage/Hour claims is two years, three years, if intentional, so you need to get a lawsuit filed as quickly as possible. It sounds like you have already discussed this with HR, so it would be futile to spend more time with them. I would start by calling the Illinois Department of Labor to get a complaint form, and by calling an attorney in your area who is knowledgable about wage/hour law.

posted by John Otto  |  Feb 9, 2010 4:43 PM [EST]
Alejandro Caffarelli
My Answers
If you are interested in speaking with an attorney, please do not hesitate to contact me directly to arrange a date and time for an over the phone screening.

If you have any questions, or if you would like to schedule a screening, I may be reached at (312) 540-1230

posted by Alejandro Caffarelli  |  Feb 9, 2010 4:11 PM [EST]

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