Federal regulations list those who are "exempt' from overtime rules

CAN THEY DO THAT?

May 03, 2006|By CARRIE MASON-DRAFFEN | CARRIE MASON-DRAFFEN,NEWSDAY

I am an exempt salaried employee who is not a manager. My salary is based on a 40-hour workweek. If I work over 40 hours, does my employer have to pay me overtime? And can the company legally grant me comp time instead of overtime?

If you are truly exempt, meaning you are exempt from federal overtime regulations, your company doesn't have to pay you overtime or grant you compensatory time.

The exempt status applies to employees who fall into the executive, professional, administrative and outside-sales categories.

Although the exempt designation saves employers money, they can't put the label on employees willy-nilly.

On the day I submitted my three-week notice, my supervisor told me to clean out my desk and leave immediately. As I see it, I didn't quit my job on that day but was let go. So I filed for unemployment benefits for two of the three weeks I was without a paycheck.

New York state retained my 2005 income tax refund because it said I owed $810 for the unemployment benefits since I quit my job. How can I fight this?

You could fight and probably should, but this battle could be costly in terms of time. Employment lawyer Alan L. Sklover believes you are probably technically correct. When you and your employer submitted forms to the department, you most likely checked off the box that said fired, while your employer probably indicated resigned, he said.

That shouldn't have hurt your chances for a fair hearing on the issue, he said. Workers who resign generally are not eligible for unemployment, but the heart of your argument is that you didn't resign. The clerk who reviewed your file most likely decided that a hearing was not really necessary.

carrie.draffen@newsday.com

Carrie Mason-Draffen writes for Newsday.

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