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I have been an exempt employee a year now and my employer…

Customer Question
***** ***** I have...

***** ***** I have been an exempt employee for over a year now and my employer just changed me to non exempt is this legal my job duites have not changed at all

Lawyer's Assistant: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?

I started with the company in July of 2014 and this last week they informed em that i would now be hourly instead of salary

Lawyer's Assistant: OK got it. Last thing — JustAnswer charges a fee (generally around $18) to post your type of question to Employment Law Experts (you only pay if satisfied). There are a couple customers ahead of you. We can help you for less if you're not in a rush. Are you willing to wait a bit?

Yes that is fine

Submitted: 2 years ago.Category: Employment Law
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Answered in 15 minutes by:
1/22/2016
Employment Lawyer: ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer replied 2 years ago
ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 18,160
Experience: Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
Verified

Thank you for using JustAnswer.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Can you tell me what state this is in?

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
California
Employment Lawyer: ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer replied 2 years ago

I see. Thank you. First of all, you need to understand that California is an "at will" employment state. At-will employment means that without a contract, you have no contractual or other right to employment with the company. The company is entitled to fire you for any reason: a good reason, a poor reason, or no reason at all--as long as the company does not fire you for an illegal reason (race, gender, age, religion, etc...). But it extends beyond firing, to hiring, promotions, demotions, wage cuts and raises, disciplinary actions, and even scheduling. Unless you can show that this was done in violation of a contract, union agreement, or a clear violation of an unambiguous and binding clause against the employer, or that it was done because of some minority status (age, race, gender, religion, disability) that you have, then they do have this discretion.

Now "exempt" means exempt from provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) including minimum wage and overtime. Only in certain situations can an employer designate someone as exempt, because doing so reduces a worker's rights. An employer can designate ANY employee as nonexempt. The law allows this because this affords the employee more rights than an exempt employee. So in short, yes, this is legal. Going from nonexempt to exempt might not be, but the other way around certainly is.

I know this is probably not what you wanted to hear, but it is the law. I hope that clears things up anyway. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for the time and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it positively (good or better). Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!

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Employment Lawyer: ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer replied 2 years ago

My apologies, but I must assist the other customers that are waiting. If there's nothing else, please rate this answer. Please note that I don't get any credit for the time and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it 3 or more stars (good or better) AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. If you feel that I have gone above and beyond in this answer (my average answer is about 10 minutes) bonuses are greatly appreciated. Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!

▼ RATING REQUIRED! ▼ Please don't forget to Rate my service positively. It's only after you rate that I am credited.

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Employment Lawyer: ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer replied 2 years ago

I see that you have not responded in some time. Please note that this question is still open until you rate it. I believe that I have answered your question, but if you have any other questions, please let me know.If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, ***** ***** good luck to you!

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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