Don’t Get Hit With an Overtime Claim

December 6, 2010 – In The News
Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly

As overtime violations surge, even lawyers may fall into the trap of misclassifying their employees and could be sued for it. Author of Fox Rothschild’s Wage and Hour blog, Mark Tabakman said many employers – including law firms – suffer from the misconception that salary pay automatically exempts employees from receiving overtime. “Just because employers are lawyers doesn’t mean they are going to know more about labor and employment laws.”

According to Tabakman, a legal secretary or a paralegal could conceivably fall into the exemption category if he or she managed other legal secretaries or paralegals and had input on hirings and firings or raises and promotions. Law firms have to be extremely conscious in correctly classifying employees because the employer carries the burden of proving that an employee is exempt. Tabakman also advised that if an employee’s duties do not involve significant discretion and independent judgment, that should raise a red flag that he or she may be non-exempt.