In many cases, managerial positions are classified as “exempt” in terms of employment law. That means an exempt, managerial employee may not receive overtime pay the way a non-exempt, hourly employee would.
Sometimes employers try to take advantage of an employee — and avoid paying that employee overtime wages — by “promoting” the employee to an exempt, supposedly managerial position. If you were “promoted” to a managerial, salaried position from a non-exempt, hourly position, and your job duties and schedule did not really change, you may have been misclassified as exempt and actually owed significant back pay.
Also, in California, you could be correctly classified as exempt / managerial and still be owed overtime pay if your salaried pay does not meet a certain threshold. If you have questions about whether you are owed overtime pay as an exempt employee, it’s a good idea to speak with an employment law attorney about your rights.
Employee misclassification is a widespread issue
Employees may be misclassified as exempt in a couple of ways: as 1) managerial and 2) independent contractor. Similar to exempt employees, independent contractors are also not afforded the same overtime and wage rights as hourly workers. Intentionally or not, sometimes employers misclassify workers as independent contractors when the workers’ duties and job obligations actually mean the workers are employees who are entitled to overtime pay, meal breaks, rest breaks and other protections.
Employee misclassification happens more often than most people realize, and in many cases, the problem is not isolated to a single employee. The problem may actually involve multiple employees who are owed back pay for overtime and breaks. For more on that, please see our overview of class action lawsuits on behalf of groups of employees in California.