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LawTalk, Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 37682
Experience:  I have 30 years of experience in the practice of law, including employment law and discrimination law.
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Am I an exempt Employee. My title is Plant Engineer. I

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Am I an exempt Employee.

My title is Plant Engineer. I hold a BS degree. No Engineering License

I work in a powerplant in California.

I used to be in charge of two interns, but now they are gone. I do not directly supervise anybody.

I'm not involved with hiring or firing people. I do not evaluate anybody.

My employer might argue that I'm in charge of my own department. However there is nobody else in this department.

Also I have been asked to fill in for other positions at the plant when other employees are sick or on vacation, sometimes as a shift supervisor and sometimes as an operator.

Am I entitled to overtime pay?
Good morning,

I'm very sorry to hear of your situation.

Under the circumstances, while you may be titled as a manager, as management of employees is not your primary function, and because you do not have an advanced degree, then it is inappropriate, and unlawful, for your employer to continue to classify you as a Salaried Exempt Employee---regardless of what your salary may be.

Under the circumstances, since the time that you ceased supervising at least 2 other company employees, you have been entitled to overtime pay. If the employer is unwilling to pay you the back pay you are owed and persists in their decision to mis-classify you as exempt, then you will want to consider legal action.

You may actually sue the employer and recover your wages. Additionally, under federal laws (FLSA), you are also entitled to what is called Liquidated damages. Liquidated damages is equal to the amount of back wages that they owe you and must be paid in addition to the wages themselves---so you essentially get double overtime wages in the claim based on their willful failure to pay you.

Here is an excellent article which deals with pursuing an FLSA claim---which you may do in either state court or federal court. Do take the time to review it:

If you have not yet seen this particular web page, it provides a good primer of what makes a person eligible to be designated as salary exempt under federal law:

You may reply back to me using the Continue the Conversation or Reply to Expert link if you have additional questions; and if you do, I ask that you please keep in mind that I do not know what you may already know or with what you need help, unless you tell me.

Kindly take a moment to rate my service to you highly, based on the understanding of the law I provided. Please understand that I have no control over the how the law impacts your particular situation, and I trust you agree that it would be unfair for me to be punished by a (negative rating) ----the first 2 stars/faces----for having been honest with you about the law.

I wish you the best in 2012,


Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Do you think they could exempt me with the Administrator clause?

Good morning,

Simply being in charge of a department over which you have no other employees, and you routinely fill in for other positions when employees are ill---would seem to suggest that is may well be a stretch to suggest that you qualify under the administrator exception.

Here is the actual fact sheet for use in the determination of this type of an exception, and is put out by the federal government relating to the Fair Labor Standards Act:

You may reply back to me again, using the Reply to Expert link, if you have additional questions.

Would you please rate me highly now, based on my assistance to you in understanding the law.

I wish you the best in 2012,


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