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  • Writer's picturePaul Peter Nicolai

Burden of Proving Overtime Exemption Toughened

Updated: May 19, 2023

The US District Court gave an employer a summary judgment in an overtime case, concluding that the dispatchers and controllers fell within the administrative exemption to the FLSA. The appeals court reversed the decision, ruling that a relational analysis that considers the relationship between the job duties of the roles in question and the business purposes of the employer’s customers had to be done.

WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT… employers must meet the burden of proving that an exemption to the overtime provisions applied to the jobs in question. The lower court found that the employee’s primary duty was directly related to the general business operations of the customers and concluded that the employees were exempt from the FLSA. The appeals court said that since the employer was in the business of selling operational and administrative services to its customers, the exemption would not necessarily apply and that a trial was necessary. This standard makes proving the exemption applies more challenging for employers.

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