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Can the DOL regulate the number of salaried employees? South Carolina

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  • Can the DOL regulate the number of salaried employees? South Carolina

    I work in a kitchen where there were five of us on salary a couple months ago. We were told that the DOL is performing a random audit of the entire restaurant group and, upon reveiw from a lawyer, we had too many employees on salary. Because of this, we had to drop two of our salaried workers to hourly. I do not have much labor law experience, but this is something I've never heard of before (too many salary employees) and am skeptical that it is just a rous in order to lower labor costs. I guess my question is, is there actually a law regulating the amount of salaried employees in a certain department and if so, could you provide a link (if possible)? Thanks!

  • #2
    There is no such law.

    However, there is a law called the FLSA which determines who can legally be paid as an exempt employee and who cannot. It's possible that the audit showed that some of the positions previously paid as exempt did not qualify.
    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.


    • #3
      I'll echo what cbg said. Exempt employees are employees who, based on their duties and responsibilities, are exempt from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA doesn't specify a cap on the particular number (or percentage) of exempt employees. However, if an employer is claiming that the employees are exempt due to their managerial duties, it is hard to have everyone being a manager and no one being managed.

      But the FLSA doesn't say that non-exempt employees have to be hourly. An employer can have a salaried non-exempt worker but will have to pay overtime based on the salary. For many employers, salaries are based on the expectation that the employee will work whatever hours are necessary for the job without overtime pay. Treating a salaried worker as non-exempt and paying extra for the expected overtime hours without a corresponding decrease in base salary would cause a significant increase in labor cost without an increase in productivity.
      David K. Staub (
      Forum posts are not legal advice, are for informational and educational purposes only, and are not a substitute for proper consultation with legal counsel.


      • #4
        Thanks guys.

        Thanks - after doing some research into our situation, I think thats what it must be. Apparently each manager should have at least two people under him, and for us there were 5 managers with 6 non-management workers. It still sucks, but at least I know now that it's legitimate. As far as them keeping us on as non-exempt salary workers - haha fat chance. Thanks again for your help.


        The forum is intended for informational use only and should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for legal advice. The information contained on are opinions and suggestions of members and is not a representation of the opinions of does not warrant or vouch for the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any postings or the qualifications of any person responding. Please consult a legal expert or seek the services of an attorney in your area for more accuracy on your specific situation.