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Judge reverses decision after Labor Dept. issues opinion letter

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in Compensation and Benefits,Human Resources

A federal judge has overturned his earlier decision in a Fair Labor Standards Act case involving several women who had been hired to sell houses in a new subdivision. The women claimed Brayson Homes owed them overtime and minimum wages.

Brayson Homes had classified them as exempt outside salespersons, but the judge disagreed. He ordered that the case go to trial. (Billingslea, et al., v. Brayson Homes, No. 1:04-CV-00962, ND GA, 2007) 

Meanwhile, the folks at the U.S. Labor Department published an opinion letter addressing exactly the situation in the case. The letter said those selling real estate in a subdivision, who also regularly work outside the model home they are assigned to, are outside salespersons exempt from the overtime and minimum wage provisions.

So the judge overturned his earlier decision and dismissed the case.

Final note: It’s a good idea to check Labor’s opinion letters regularly. Go to www.dol.gov/esa/whd/opinion/opinion.htm.

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