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‘Fair reading’ of FLSA exemptions gets a test drive

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Alice Gilman

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in Centerpiece,Employment Law

If you’re determining whether an employee’s position is exempt, take a page from these court cases and start your analysis with the basic functions of the position. 

In 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Encino Motors v. Navarro that exemptions to the Fair Labor Standards Act should be given a “fair reading,” instead of a narrow construction. Two federal appellate court decisions have put their stamp on just what counts as a fair reading.

Case No. 1: Outside salesperson exemption upheld. A commission-only salesperson was required to report to the office in the morning and attend daily sales meetings, but 75% to 80% of his time was spent selling door-to-door. The company had final approval of his contracts with customers. His employment was terminated and he sued for unpaid minimum wages and overtime, claiming he didn’t qualify for the FLSA’s outside salespersons’ exemption. Employee: The level of...(register to read more)

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