Many restaurant chains employ different levels of “managers” in their restaurants. Often times, a Regional Manager will oversee several stores in a geographic region. General Managers or Store Managers will report to the Regional Manager about their specific location. The next step down on the hierarchy of employees is the Assistant Manager. Assistant Managers are often the bridge between the General Manager(s) and the staff employees, such as: cooks, wait-staff, hosts, and bartenders.
The Misclassification of Assistant Managers
Too often, Assistant Managers are misclassified by restaurants as exempt from the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). As a result, these assistant managers work long hours, to their employers benefit, for very little pay. Much of the Assistant Managers time is spent performing the same non-exempt work tasks that the staff employees perform or other non-exempt work. Very little of the Assistant Managers job duties actually include exempt work.
What Does The Fair Labor Standards Act Say?
The Fair Labor Standards Act Requires that all non-exempt employees be paid one and one half times their regular hourly rate for all hours worked in excess of forty in a work week. Simply compensating an employee on a salary basis and calling them a “manager” does not make them exempt for purposes of the FLSA’s overtime requirements. Instead, the determination of whether an assistant manager, or any other employee for that matter, is exempt or non-exempt is determined by a detailed analysis of the employee’s duties. Specifically, the amount of time the employee spends performing exempt work tasks in comparison to the time spent performing non-exempt work tasks.
The determination of whether an Assistant Manager is truly exempt or non-exempt is a question that will be determined on a case by case basis. If you are an Assistant Manager and believe that you were or are misclassified as exempt from overtime, you should contact and attorney at the Wage Authority Group to review your case.
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