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Stacy Adkins
Stacy Adkins, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 152
Experience:  Law Clerk for 7 years
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Are bookkeepers excluded from being paid overtime? I am only

Customer Question

Are bookkeepers excluded from being paid overtime ? I am only part-time and being paid 30 hours a week but working 50 hours a week. They keep track of my extra hours and then pay me a "bonus" of my extra hours at the end of a month.
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Stacy Adkins replied 3 months ago.

Hi, thanks for your question! Are they paying you a set salary based on 30 hours per week? It sounds as if they have possibly misclassified you as an exempt employee under the administrative exception.

To qualify for the administrative employee exemption, all of the following tests must be met:

  • The employee must be compensated on a salary or fee basis (as defined in the regulations) at a rate not less than $455 per week;
  • The employee’s primary duty must be the performance of office or non-manual work directly related to the management or general business operations of the employer or the employer’s customers; and
  • The employee’s primary duty includes the exercise of discretion and independent judgment with respect to matters of significance.

It sounds as if they have classified you as exempt, whether accidentally or intentionally, when you should not be considered as such. I would highly suggest meeting for a consultation with a local Illinois attorney to discuss your options in pursuing back pay.

If you divided your gross income for 30 hours to get an hourly rate, is your "bonus" an equivalent of your extra hours worked over 30?

If you have found my answer helpful, please don't forget to rate me. It's the only way I can get credit for my service and time spent on your question. You can still ask followup questions even after I have been rated. Thank you!

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
They pay me $21.00 an hour. The bonus is usually close to the # of hours over 30 at the 21.00, sometimes they hold back 10 hours to carry over in case I ask for a day off. They constantly tell me I am not part of management. They have a small office staff and I am doing all computer work regarding applying customer payments and preparing the bank deposit, and reconciling the bank statement.
Expert:  Stacy Adkins replied 3 months ago.

Do they call you a salaried employee? Or hourly? If you are considered hourly by your employer, any week you work over 40 hours, you are legally entitled to time and a half rate pay for the hours over 40. That would typically be due to you on your regular paycheck, not being withheld until the end of the month. If they have not been paying you time and a half for weeks when you've worked over 40 hours, they are in violation of the law. How long have you been working in this situation where they've been paying you this way?

Expert:  Stacy Adkins replied 3 months ago.

I just wanted to add that the way they are holding back 10 hours of pay in case you need a day off is a violation as well. They're using that as "comp time" and that is illegal under the overtime/wage laws.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I am hourly, not salaried. They have been doing this December of 2015. They say I get the "bonus" (the hours over 30) if I meet their goals too. They rate me. This time I know I have not met goals so am thinking they are going to pull a stunt and withhold payment
Expert:  Stacy Adkins replied 3 months ago.

Your wage payment as an hourly employee are not subject to meeting your goals. You are absolutely entitled to payment for every hour worked, whether it is 35 or 55. You need to speak to someone in your HR department and make an inquiry and see if you can get this situation rectified and get the back payment you are entitled to as an hourly employee. If they won't cooperate, you need to seek the advice of a local attorney who can proceed with an action on your behalf.

Please don't forget to rate me so I can get credit for assisting you this evening! Thank you!

Expert:  Stacy Adkins replied 3 months ago.

I was just following up to see if I answered your question or you needed additional assistance since you have not provided a rating yet. Thank you!