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Stephanie Jane Hahn, Attorney At Law
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Pay may not factor into overtime eligibility

Indiana workers and others that are considered highly paid for practical purposes may be entitled to overtime pay, according to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). A 6th Circuit court ruling found that the legal meaning of the phrase "highly compensated employees" should be considered regardless of how much a person makes. The case was brought by two welding inspectors that worked for a Houston-based construction contractor.

The welders first brought their FLSA putative class action suit before a U.S. District Court in Columbus. Before that court hearing, the company claimed that the employees were 'in a bona fide executive, administrative or professional capacity." Therefore, they should be exempt from the FLSA provision. A summary judgment was granted, dismissing the case. By making its ruling, the 6th Circuit put itself at odds with the 9th Circuit that had just considered an overtime case regarding mortgage underwriters.

Wage laws under the FLSA may require employers to pay certain employees extra if they work more than 40 hours per week. It is important to note that extra pay is only required for the hours worked in excess of 40 per week. How much an employee makes may not necessarily factor into whether he or she is entitled to overtime pay. Those who have been wrongfully denied overtime may wish to speak with an attorney to learn more about their rights.

Doing so may also make it possible to gather evidence supporting the notion that a person is entitled to overtime pay. Evidence may include referring to the employee's job title, job duties or other factors that may not exempt him or her under the FLSA. If an employee has been wrongfully denied overtime, he or she may be entitled to back pay and other damages.

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