Depending on the nature of your job and other factors, your employer may misclassify you as an exempt employee. Employee misclassification is a significant problem in many industries, and one that employers are rarely eager to fix. If you face misclassification, whether an employer misclassifies you as an exempt employee accidentally or purposefully, you still must deal the same consequences.
One of the primary issues with employee misclassification is that it allows an employer to avoid granting certain benefits to employees, such as overtime pay. While there are many jobs that do not receive overtime pay, there are many jobs that should receive overtime pay but do not. If your employer owes you back pay for overtime work you were not properly compensated for accomplishing, you may have to take a number of steps to address the issue.
If you are not sure if you are properly classified, you may want to consult with a legal professional who can help you understand your status. Once you determine whether or not you are actually owed back pay, you may try simply informing your employer of the mistake. In some instances, this is enough to compel the employer to do the right thing and issue back payment for your overtime hours. However, in some cases, this is not enough.
You may have to file a suit against the employer to receive back pay for your overtime. If it comes to this, consider enlisting the help of an experienced attorney who can guide you through the process and protect your rights along the way.
Source: FindLaw, “Exempt Employees vs. Nonexempt Employees,” accessed Oct. 06, 2017