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LawTalk, Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 37639
Experience:  I have 30 years of experience in the practice of law, including employment law and discrimination law.
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In my current position I was classified as a salaried employee

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In my current position I was classified as a salaried employee and was making $20.34 per hour for the past 2 1/2 years. My company recently had all employees write down what their current job descriptions were. A week ago the new HR Manager and my supervisor called me into her office and said that they have to re-classify me as an hourly employee because they were non-compliant with the state of CA and that I should not have been an "exempt employee" that I will now be a "non-exempt" employee and they dropped my hourly wage to $18.17 per hour. They based this on our current job descriptions we wrote. I asked why they needed to drop my pay and they said it was because to be an exempt employee I needed to supervise at least 2 or more employees and I don't hire and fire anyone under my job description. I asked if they could keep me at my current exempt hourly wage of $20.34 but they said I would probably be making up the difference in overtime. They based my new hourly wage on a 45 hour work week but I was working at least 50-60 hours if not more per week for the whole 2 1/2 years.

My question(s) is: 1-Since the company was non-compliant (term the HR Manager used) with the state of CA for 2 1/2 years, am I qualified to receive the back overtime for that time period? 2: Since the company was non-compliant with the state of CA, does the employee have to pay the price of their hourly wage being dropped because the company was in the wrong and do I have any rights under CA law to not have my hourly wage dropped by over $2.00 per hour? 3: Even though I was classified as an salaried employee and working more than the required 45-50 hours per the company's employee handbook, was I entitled to receive overtime for the hours I worked over the required 45-50 hours? (I hope these all make sense).

I just want what is fair for both sides. I can't afford to have my pay drop by over $2.00 per hour and it seems that my company is penalizing the employees because they were in the wrong. Once they realize how much overtime I will have I'm sure they won't want to be paying me that every pay period.

Thank you for your help!
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  LawTalk replied 5 years ago.
Good evening,

If you have been working as a mis-classified employee and you have been forced to work overtime with no overtime pay, you may demand that you be paid all the overtime pay which has not been paid you as required under the law for the past three years. What this means is that you have 3 years from the first date that you were due overtime and not paid, to file a lawsuit.

In CA, you may also seek the help of the CA Department of Labor in getting paid the overtime you are due---and avoid filing a suit. Just be sure that you do not wait longer than 3 years after the first overtime payment was due. This is because you may only look to the 3 years prior to the date you file suit to be reimbursed. All overtime due from MORE than 3 years prior to the date of filing your lawsuit will be lost.

I wish you the best in 2011.

Because I help people here, like you, for a living---this is not a hobby for me, and I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX abiding by the honor system as regards XXXXX XXXXX I wish you and your family the best in your respective futures.

Would you be so kind as to Accept my Answer so that I may be compensated for assisting you? Bonuses for greatly informative and helpful answers are very much appreciated. Thanks Again,

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