Unread 10-04-2001, 07:36 AM
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Default Reclassifying from exempt to non-exempt

We want to reclassify some position(s) from exempt status to non-exempt. This is not a misclassification issue. Can we avoid retroactive OT pay with the following changes in the job descriptions: managing will no longer be primary duty; eliminating authority to hire/fire; performance of duties usually handled by non-exempts. Their former management duties will be assumed by the department manager.

A formal job description is not on file at this time. Should we clarify (with job descriptions) the previous functions countered with a description of the revised situation? Can we eventually return these to exempt position(s)?

Is it possible to reduce an exempt's workweek and salary by equal percentages? If so, let's say by, 40%. If necessary, how would hours 25 to 40 be paid?

Also, a question regarding Equal Pay Act; is it justifiable to pay a higher ROP for shift differentials?

I realize these questions probably cannot be answered completely in this forum. If possible, please refer me to a source for guidance.

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Unread 10-04-2001, 11:45 AM
James Sokolowski
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Default RE: Reclassifying from exempt to non-exempt

In answer to your questions:

Reclassifying employees is OK when their duties change. But it's always tricky. Job descriptions are helpful in a lot of ways.

I think it's OK to have exempt part-timers. You pay them the same salary every week. And I think the FLSA allows you to pay OT to exempt employees, but that sounds like playing with fire to me.

Equal Pay Act allows unequal pay for unequal working conditions, and significantly different shifts sounds unequal to me. You must have a big gender difference on different shifts.

And you asked for resources:

A good overview of the FLSA is in our 66-page Special Report "Defusing the Overtime Bomb: How to Comply with the FLSA" It's $47 at

Are you a member of our Missouri Law Center? If so, you can get a mountain of FLSA information (including the Special Report) in the members area of HRhero.com. If you're not a member, take the tour in the "members login" box at www.HRhero.com.

James Sokolowski
Senior Editor
M. Lee Smith Publishers
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