A manager who has to fill in for subordinates when they are absent or because a position is vacant doesn’t necessarily lose exempt status.
Recent case: Flor supervised 11 apartment complexes containing more than 400 apartments. She was classified as an exempt executive employee.
When she was terminated, she sued, alleging she really should have been classified as an hourly employee entitled to overtime.
She argued that when there were open positions at some properties, she had to do work that would normally have been performed by subordinates.
The apartment owner argued that Flor spent more than 80% of her time on executive tasks such as supervising property managers and maintenance workers.
That included setting their schedules and reviewing and approving requests from managers to hire vendors. Flor participated in the interviewing process for apartment complex employees and made recommendations to HR regarding hiring and firing. She gave warnings to employees, imposed discipline, terminated employees and recommended job transfers when appropriate.
The court said she was properly classified as exempt. (Abarca v. J.K. Residential Services, No. B256488, Court of Appeals of California, 2015)