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No double liability for state, federal classification claims

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in Compensation and Benefits,Human Resources

Until now, employers covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) faced potential double liability under the North Carolina Wage and Hour Act (NCWHA) over unpaid overtime for workers misclassified as exempt.

A recent decision makes clear that the federal FLSA takes precedence.

Recent case: Brian, an IT administrator, sued, claiming he had been wrongly classified as exempt under both the NCWHA and the FLSA. He sought to represent all similarly situated employees in a class action.

His employer asked the court to toss out the NCWHA case. It admitted it was covered by the FLSA and the claims under both laws (for unpaid overtime due to misclassification) were identical. The court agreed, saving the employer from po­­tential double liability. (Lombardozzi v. Allscripts, No. 5:13-CV-715, ED NC, 2014)

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