Misclassification of Field Service Technicians & Engineers as Exempt from Overtime Pay
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), non-exempt employees are entitled to overtime pay for hours worked in excess of 40 in a given workweek. There are strict rules and regulations regarding whether or not an employee qualifies for an overtime exemption. Misclassification occurs when a company or organization improperly designated a worker as ineligible for overtime pay.
Unfortunately, too many field service technicians and engineers are misclassified. At Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore, LLC, we represent clients in wage and hour claims in Connecticut and wage and hour claims in Massachusetts. In this article, we provide an overview of misclassification of field service technicians & engineers as exempt from overtime pay.
FLSA Overtime Exemptions: Executive, Administrative, Professional or Outside Sales
An employer does not simply get to choose if an employee is overtime exempt. Instead, an FLSA overtime exemption is based entirely on the actual nature of the employee’s position, including their pay, educational background, and workplace responsibilities.
Broadly speaking, an employee can only be classified as overtime exempt if they work in an executive/administrative capacity, professional position, or an outside sales position. For the most part, field services technicians and engineers will fall under the professional category, if any.
DOL Guidance: Field Technicians, Engineers, and Overtime Exemptions
In September of 2019, the Department of Labor (DOL) released its latest updates to its official guidance and fact sheet on overtime exemptions for technologists and technicians. In order to classify a field service technician or engineer as an overtime exempt employee under the FLSA’s learn professional exception, the following four criteria must be met:
- The employee must earn a minimum salary of $684 per week;
- The employee’s primary job duties must involve performance of work that requires advanced knowledge;
- The advanced knowledge used must be in the field of science or learning; and
- The advanced knowledge must have been acquired through specialized intellectual instruction of a sufficient duration.
Determining whether or not a field service technician or engineer is properly classified as overtime exempt is not always easy. It will depend on the specific nature and responsibilities of their position. The key things to consider are their level of pay—which must be greater than $684 per week—and whether they are a learned professional. Technicians and engineers can certainly qualify as learned professionals for the purposes of the FLSA, but they must be trained with specialized skills and they must actually use that knowledge in the course of their employment.
Contact Our Employee Misclassification Attorneys for Immediate Legal Help
At Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore, LLC, our employees rights advocates have the skills and knowledge to handle the full range of worker misclassification claims. If you have any questions about field service technician or engineer misclassification and overtime pay, we are available to help. Contact us now for a confidential, no commitment review and assessment of your case. With law office locations in Hartford, New Haven, Springfield, and Northampton, we represent employees throughout Connecticut and Massachusetts.