Are assistant managers exempt from overtime?

There is no clear and easy answer to this question. Just because an employee is given the title of "assistant manager" and paid a salary does not mean that he or she is exempt from overtime. Basically, it comes down to whether the actual job duties are more manual than managerial.

Dollar General store managers were awarded more than $35 million in unpaid overtime in a recent case, Morgan v. Family Dollar Stores, Inc., No. 07-12398 (11th Cir. December 16, 2008), where the court ruled that the store managers were not exempt from overtime based on the following: 

 

  • store manages spent 80-90% of their time performing manual labor tasks such as stocking shelves, running the cash registers, unloading trucks, and cleaning the parking lots, floors and bathrooms   
  • performing manual labor was included in the job description as "Essential Job Functions" of the store managers 
  • store managers rarely exercised any discretion because the operations manuals or district managers controlled virtually every aspect of a store's day-to-day operations 
  • store managers were closely supervised by district managers, who exercised practical managerial authority over each store 
  • the store managers' pay rate was only slightly higher than the hourly rate of their assistant store managers   

Both the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and the Kentucky wage and hour law require that non-exempt employees be paid overtime. The point is that the job title does not decide whether an employee is exempt from overtime: it is what they do in their jobs. 

If you have not been paid the overtime and wages owed you, contact Lexington, Kentucky overtime lawyer Robert Abell at 859-254-7076.