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    I am currently an exempt employee for a large computer company in California. I am a database administrator and work from home. Some of the people in my group (who live in other states) are being re-classified as non-exempt. Part of the deal is that they are getting a 15% reduction in pay. They are being told that they can make up that pay by claiming 5 hours overtime per week. I am still exempt but work overtime especially on the weeks that I am on call. Should I be concerned that this may eventually occur to me? Why is the company is doing this.

  • #2
    Not actually having talked to your company I do not know for sure, but I can guess. The federal and CA rules on which IT workers can be Exempt are legally pretty tight and it is fairly common for companies to find out that their guesses were maybe not legal. It sounds possible that the employer took at hard look at the rules, decided that some of the employees were misclassified and fixed it. Lowering the wage rate makes sense because most Exempt employees work a lot of unpaid OT and in theory should have a higher wage rate to help compensate for this.

    http://www.dol.gov/esa/regs/complian...e_computer.pdf

    http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/FAQ_OvertimeExemptions.htm
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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    • #3
      Reclassified as non-exempt and reduction in pay

      The real issue is that the employees who were reclassified as non-exempt and whose salary was reduced are doing the same job as me and putting in the same amount of overtime. Is is just because they work in different state s and those statess laws may not be as strict as California?

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      • #4
        That is a possibility. Many things are possibilities. There is a problem with trying to guess what an employer's motivations are. I have generally been middle management for a number of companies, and in my experience, senior management and the general workforce often as not do not have the slightest idea what the other group is thinking or saying. What you describe could be a simple as HR fixing things for only those supervisors who are not fighting them. There is sometimes a tendency to think that management thinks as one, and moves as one, when more often management cannot stand each other and is barely on talking terms with each other.

        ------

        If you can stand a constructive suggestion, look at the rules and see whether or not you think that you are correctly classified as Exempt. If so, you are mostly out of luck. Companies are not legally required to classify employees as Exempt. I personnally think that it is really dumb but not necessarily illegal for employers to not be very consistent with their Exempt classifications. Sometimes it even makes sense. I have worked for employers who never classified part time employees as Exempt for some pretty good reasons.
        "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
        Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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        • #5
          California overtime laws

          It is clear the company is cost cutting or may have been exposed to class action or other litigation in other states. You may have a large overtime claim if it is determined that you are non exempt and entitled to overtime. If you are, you and your colleagues may be able to collect up to three years of overtime under the California labor code and possibly a 4th year under the 17200 unfair competition law in California.

          Hope this helps.
          Walter

          www.Collectovertime.com

          Disclaimer: The above correspondence does not constitute legal advice nor establish an attorney-client relationship. You should seek the advice of independent legal counsel before relying upon, acting upon or not acting upon any information contained in this correspondence.

          Comment

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