Aerospace contractor Ball Corp. agreed to pay out almost $1 million to 900 employees to settle a U.S. Labor Department complaint. The problem: The company switched top-tier hourly workers to exempt status once employees reached the top of the hourly pay scale. They were also required to work through lunch without pay.
Ball Corp. misunderstood the exemptions available under the Fair Labor Standards Act (). Although earnings are part of the calculations, they are not the only factor. Employees also must fall into one of the many specific categories, such as the administrative, executive or professional categories. Job duties and responsibilities play an important role, too.