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Employer changed my position from exempt to non-exempt - questions Virginia

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  • Employer changed my position from exempt to non-exempt - questions Virginia

    Hello,

    Yesterday my employer told me that they are changing my status from exempt to non-exempt. They stated the reason for the change is that I'm now supervising one employee instead of two (due to recent layoffs).

    I've been supervising only one person for about 16 weeks, though.

    Last night I did some reading on exempt and non-exempt classifications, and I believe that I should have been non-exempt since I started in this position (about a year ago). I am the manager of a service and retail location and have a district manager as my direct supervisor. I do not make decisions regarding hiring, firing, pricing, procedures, etc...our corporate office handles all of that.

    A few months ago, the company changed a lower position from exempt to non-exempt because they were misclassified. Those employees were paid back overtime.

    I work anywhere from 41 to 55 hours per week.

    I think the company owes me (and the other misclassified managers - there are a lot of us) back OT pay...but they did not mention it in the conference call we had yesterday, nor was it referenced in the email we were sent.

    I'm not sure how to proceed. Do I wait to see what they do? Should I ask my DM or HR? I want to tread carefully, but I also want to be treated fairly. I work 10 hour shifts 2-3 days per week, and there have been days when I've been here more than 12 hours.

    Thank you so much.

  • #2
    Several things stand out in your post.

    (due to recent layoffs
    )

    A sign to tread lightly. I agree


    A few months ago, the company changed a lower position from exempt to non-exempt because they were misclassified. Those employees were paid back overtime
    .

    Wait and see. Do not push, as the money gained could well be lost in unemployment. It sounds like the company has some good accounting people. They are the ones that make sure the company does not get sued. Let them do their job, and then come back for advice. It could be that once it is discovered you have been misclassified, you might get a fat check. (minus the taxes) As for the taxes, that will come back to you at the end of the year.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by GotSmart View Post
      Several things stand out in your post.

      )

      A sign to tread lightly. I agree


      .

      Wait and see. Do not push, as the money gained could well be lost in unemployment. It sounds like the company has some good accounting people. They are the ones that make sure the company does not get sued. Let them do their job, and then come back for advice. It could be that once it is discovered you have been misclassified, you might get a fat check. (minus the taxes) As for the taxes, that will come back to you at the end of the year.
      Uh oh. I emailed HR to ask.

      When they misclassifed another position, they paid those employees back OT.

      They have no grounds to fire me - I am meeting expectations and they need me more than I need them. I'm not being arrogant; they are very understaffed in this region. Without me, my location will have to be operated by one person.

      Okay, extra nervous now. lol I just don't trust them to do the right thing...they charged me and a co-worker the smokers' rate for our health insurance, even though we certified that we are non-smokers. They reimbursed me the difference (after admitting there was a known system issue but they didn't notify anyone), but they tried to get out of reimbursing my co-worker.

      Shady, I tell ya...

      Comment


      • #4
        Based on your post, I agree that you do not qualify for the Executive exemption. That does not mean that you don't qualify to be exempt at all. There are more exemptions than just that one.
        The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by cbg View Post
          Based on your post, I agree that you do not qualify for the Executive exemption. That does not mean that you don't qualify to be exempt at all. There are more exemptions than just that one.
          I've read through the exemptions, and none seem to fit, but I'm obviously not an expert so who knows. I guess we'll see.

          Comment


          • #6
            Unless you have a contract (and sometimes even then), they don't need grounds to terminate your employment relationship. They can't do it for protected discrmininatory reasons (religion, gender, race, etc) but they usually have "at will employment" on their side.

            That said, inquiring about this doesn't mean that you will be terminated. The best thing you can do is keep doing your job well.

            and there are exemptions that you might fit.....possibly the administrative one... And you might have been a better fit for exempt prior to layoffs than you are now, especially if your primary duties have now changed and if you no longer meet all the criteria to be exempt. For example, managers at our retail/service business are now doing more non-exempt type work since we have cut back on our workforce. We moved one from exempt to non-exempt because we changed how much of certain things he was doing. That doesn't mean that he wasn't exempt before. Just that his primary duties have changed. It is possible based on what you've stated that is the same case with you. There is not enough NOW to keep you exempt. Does this mean you never had enough? no.....

            Comment


            • #7
              I'm not saying you were definitely not misclassified, but based on what you've posted I can't say that you were, either. But if the company provided back overtime when other employees were found to be misclassified, there's no reason to think that they won't do the same for you IF you were.

              And they do not need grounds to fire you in at at-will state, which Virginia is, unless you have a legally binding and enforceable contract that expressly and in so many words says you do. And if you did, I suspect you'd have mentioned it.
              The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

              Comment


              • #8
                I might have qualified for the exempt status before December, but I definitely haven't since then (that's when I went from supervising two employees to one).

                I haven't heard back from HR yet. I hope I didn't open a can of worms.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by cbg View Post
                  And they do not need grounds to fire you in at at-will state, which Virginia is, unless you have a legally binding and enforceable contract that expressly and in so many words says you do. And if you did, I suspect you'd have mentioned it.
                  No contract - you are correct about that. Hmm.

                  Other managers caught on to the issue too, but everyone was afraid to ask. Time will tell...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Uh oh! I emailed HR yesterday to ask how my back OT was going to be calculated and how all of this was going to be handled.

                    I got a very brief response that said "I will look into it and let you know, but it might not be until next week."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I don't know what's so upsetting or confusing about that response - I say that all the time to people, because I'm busy and I often don't know if I will be able to drop everything and attend to their issues immediately, given what's waiting in the wings for me. It's just good manners to give people an idea how long it might take to gather and provide them with the information they're asking for.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by eerelations View Post
                        I don't know what's so upsetting or confusing about that response - I say that all the time to people, because I'm busy and I often don't know if I will be able to drop everything and attend to their issues immediately, given what's waiting in the wings for me. It's just good manners to give people an idea how long it might take to gather and provide them with the information they're asking for.
                        I agree. Generic professional response.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I agree that it is a standard response. They are buying time to investigate the issue and don't want you calling back for a few days.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            That sounds right - they probably are researching it.

                            But, my DM told another employee that the back OT reimbursement is "not going to happen". They said that eventually we will be supervising 2 people again and this is "temporary" so they don't have to reimburse us.

                            So, I'll be contacting an employment lawyer for a consultation.

                            Is there some way they can get out of this? They had me sign an agreement back in December that says I am a two-person location.

                            I'm confused.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              wait until contacted by HR.

                              Comment

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