Restaurants Hit with Lawsuits for Allegedly Misclassifying Managers and Assistant Managers as Exempt Employees from Overtime Pay – Los Angeles Wage & Hour Claims Attorneys Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik

by Norman B. Blumenthal on May 28, 2013

OvertimeOver the last several years, many restaurant chains have been hit with lawsuits for allegedly misclassifying managers and assistant managers as exempt employees, essentially denying them overtime pay.  According to the restaurant chains, managers and assistant managers are exempt employees because they are executives.

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, a manager or assistant manager meets the executive exemption if he or she is paid with a salary and not with an hourly wage, is paid at least $455 per week, and primarily performs managerial work.  In determining whether the manager’s or assistant manager’s work performed is primarily managerial, a court will look at whether the employee:

  • Has as his or her primary duty managing the enterprise, or managing a customarily recognized department or subdivision of the enterprise;
  • Customarily and regularly directs the work of at least two other full-time employees or their equivalent; and
  • Either has the direct authority to hire or fire or has the power to make suggestions and recommendations that are given weight as to such decisions.

However, restaurant managers and assistant managers often perform nonmanagerial duties, such as serving customers and bussing tables.  So a court will then consider how much time is spent on managerial vs. nonmanagerial tasks, the relative importance of the exempt duties as compared with other types of duties, and the relationship between the employee's salary and the wages paid to other employees for the kind of non-exempt work performed by the employee.

If you are a restaurant manager or assistant manager and believe you have been misclassified, contact Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik.  Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik is an experienced California employment law firm with offices located in San Diego, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The firm dedicates its practice to contingency fee employment law work for issues involving misclassification as a salaried worker exempt from overtime, failure to pay vacation wages, misclassification as an independent contractor, off-the-clock work, wrongful termination, discrimination and other California labor laws.

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