Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Ridiculousness

My husband, The Man, deserves better.  We're not talking about me, here, nor our relationship.  We're talking wages.  Overtime, specifically.  I believe my husband is getting screwed by his employer.  I think he should be paid for all of the overtime he's working.  And, just to make sure my little bloggy rant doesn't get him fired, I won't name names, mkay?

My husband is an "assistant project manager."  He assists the project managers.  He does not make legal, monetary, or executive decisions.  He does not sell a product, make a product, or fix a product.  He simply facilitates a service utilizing written procedural manuals.  No specific degree is necessary to do his job, especially considering how overqualified he is anyway.  He does not work in a field of science or learning (like medicine or law or education).  The Man doesn't supervise anyone else.

Let's take a look at the federal exemptions (which apply verbatim in Oregon, thankfully):

Executive ExemptionTo qualify for the executive employee exemption, all of the following tests must be met:
The employee must be compensated on a salary basis (as defined in the regulations) at a rate not less than $455 per week;
The employee’s primary duty must be managing the enterprise, or managing a customarily recognized department or subdivision of the enterprise;
The employee must customarily and regularly direct the work of at least two or more other full-time employees or their equivalent; and
The employee must have the authority to hire or fire other employees, or the employee’s suggestions and recommendations as to the hiring, firing, advancement, promotion or any other change of status of other employees must be given particular weight.
Administrative ExemptionsTo qualify for the administrative employee exemption, all of the following tests must be met:
The employee must be compensated on a salary or fee basis (as defined in the regulations) at a rate not less than $455 per week;
The employee’s primary duty must be the performance of office or non-manual work directly related to the management or general business operations of the employer or the employer’s customers; and
The employee’s primary duty includes the exercise of discretion and independent judgment with respect to matters of significance.
Professional ExemptionTo qualify for the learned professional employee exemption, all of the following tests must be met:
The employee must be compensated on a salary or fee basis (as defined in the regulations) at a rate not less than $455 per week;
The employee’s primary duty must be the performance of work requiring advanced knowledge, defined as work which is predominantly intellectual in character and which includes work requiring the consistent exercise of discretion and judgment;
The advanced knowledge must be in a field of science or learning; and
The advanced knowledge must be customarily acquired by a prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction.

To qualify for the creative professional employee exemption, all of the following tests must be met:
The employee must be compensated on a salary or fee basis (as defined in the regulations) at a rate not less than $455 per week;
The employee’s primary duty must be the performance of work requiring invention, imagination, originality or talent in a recognized field of artistic or creative endeavor.
As you can see, it's obvious The Man does not qualify for the Executive Exemption.  He definitely does not qualify for the Professional Exemption.  The only possible exemption is the Administrative exemption.  He does (barely) meet the salary requirement.  He does non-manual work directly related to the business operations, but he is in no way responsible for management of anything.  He assists, but he does not supervise or make decisions.  And the decisions he does get to make are about as limited as deciding which side of the pickles are up in a burger (does. not. matter!).  Everything he does goes through the project managers or his boss.

Now I know that definitions are often loosely applied in salary vs. hourly wages.  I know there are people who work where I do exempted under the Professional Exemption that are neither learned nor decision-makers.  Overall, though, their job is seen as one of a learned individual who could make decisions (even though they have difficulty with that whole process).  My husband is not expected to make decisions.  He's not expected to be educated.  He's essentially a line worker with a fancy title.

And his employer expects him to work twelve hours days without paying him overtime.  I'm not okay with that.

What can I do?  What can he do?  What would you do?

1 comment:

Skunk said...

Hmm, sounds familiar. Not me personally, but others close to me. That's what you get these days working salary. A decent employer will give you comp time, but 12 hours a day should NOT be a expectation. True, they do happen to all of us from time to time, but that should be it. Sounds like someone needs to speak up to his employer, and/or look for a new job.