Q: My job description/classification in HR does not reflect job scope or duties. This has prevented access to benefits.
I was hired under an open job position, to quickly get me in the door with the understanding that I would be quickly reclassified as I established myself in the company. I have been made to apply for the job I am already performing several times, and have been told that I do not qualify. I received very little/ vague feedback from DHR as to why (keeping in mind that there was a new job description that my supervisor created based on my contributions and resume in attempt to solidify my correct classification). My current classification does not grant me access to union, sick leave, or comp time benefits. I feel that I also may be owed back pay for the fact that I am in a position to hire staff, supervise, work long and often physical hours, etc. I am also relied on to support other departments in the agency and create custom and artistic objects outside of my admin work. What steps do I need to take to begin to remedy any of this?
A: The question raises several issues, and requires more facts and discussion to fully answer. Generally speaking, entitlement to union benefits (or eligibility for membership) depends on the applicable CBA scope. There are federal (FMLA and the recent COVID-19 changes) and Maryland (sick/safe leave) laws that set minimum paid and unpaid sick leave requirements and generally apply without reference to job description. Presumably this is a salaried position meeting the minimum salary threshold for overtime exemption- so the question centers on whether the actual work done in the (apparently poorly defined) position also meets the job duties test for exemption. Supervising and hiring and "admin" work would seem to indicate a properly exempt position. It gets more complicated when otherwise non-exempt tasks are regularly performed by a nominally salaried exempt employee- but simply performing some lower level tasks is not in and of itself enough to take an employee out of exempt classification. The job description itself is relevant but not dispositive. It may be worth a consultation with a labor/employment attorney.
Mark A. Buterbaugh agrees with this answer
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