Cockeysville, MD asked in Employment Law for Maryland

Q: Can an employer legally assign non-exempt duties to an exempt supervisor to avoid paying a non-exempt employee overtime?

I'm a supervisor in Maryland, and already overwhelmed with 60-80 hours of work/wk. Can my employer keep loading on responsibilities without any limits? And if I say that's not my job or I'm already overwhelmed with work, they can terminate me? Basically, I worked my way up and proved to be reliable and competent, so they ask me to work on weekends performing the responsibilities of my non-exempt staff. They know I'm capable because I used to have that job. Shouldn't they have to hire me for both jobs, instead of being able to claim it's part of my current role? Or is this legal (federally or in Maryland) for my employer to circumvent overtime laws by making exempt employees perform responsibilities normally assigned to non-exempt staff?

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
Joseph D. Allen
Joseph D. Allen
Answered
  • Hunt Valley, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: There are limits to how much an employer can get away with. One question is if the employee is appropriately classified as exempt, given their overall duties and responsibilities. Another is if the employee is actually performing two separate jobs (one exempt, and the other non-exempt), and should therefore get overtime pay for the non-exempt job. Unfortunately, there is no hard-and-fast rule that governs either question- they're both very fact specific and involve weighing different factors.

Retaliation (e.g. termination) for raising good faith questions of compliance with labor laws- such as entitlement to overtime pay- is prohibited. But there are practical considerations involved (beyond the purely legal ones). It is probably a good idea to discuss with an employment/labor attorney.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.