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When ‘manager’ doesn’t manage, title doesn’t determine exempt status

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in Human Resources,Overtime Labor Laws

Just because an employee is called a supervisor and sometimes tells others what tasks to perform, that doesn’t mean she’s an exempt admin­­istrative or executive employee. It’s the actual duties performed day to day that count.

Merely serving an administrative function such as sending out field crews for the day isn’t enough to be a supervisor.

Recent case: Veronica worked for Northern States Power as a “Super­­visor I.” The company classified her as exempt from overtime under the administrative or combined categories set by the Depart­­ment of Labor.

Her job primarily involved compiling service work orders and assigning them to work crews.

There were 26 workers on the crews she sent out. Veronica created a schedule based on the work that needed to be done, formed crews based on the number of people and hours necessary for each task and secured the right equipment for each project.

When she sued for overtime pay, Veronica testified that she didn’t participate in discussions about crewmember discipline and was never asked for input. She said no employees reported to her and she didn’t do performance reviews, nor did she make suggestions or recommendations about hiring, firing, advancement or promotion.

Based on her description, the court concluded she was a supervisor in name only and ruled she wasn’t ex­­empt and thus was entitled to overtime for any hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek. (Grage v. Northern States Power, No. 12-2590, DC MN, 2014)

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