Many employees here in Texas and the rest of the country have overtime rights under federal law. It is important to note though that federal law does not extend these rights to every worker. As can be seen on the U.S. Department of Labor’s website, there are a range of different types of jobs that are exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime provisions.
Sometimes, disputes arise over whether a given work position falls into these exemptions. Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to take a case dealing with such a dispute.
The dispute is over how service advisers at auto dealers are to be treated under the Fair Labor Standards Act when it comes to overtime pay. Service adviser jobs involve tasks like assisting customers in figuring out what sorts of repairs their car needs and being the initial meet-point for customers.
There are certain auto dealer jobs that exempt from federal overtime laws, including mechanic jobs and salesperson jobs. An auto dealer from California put forward an argument that service adviser positions are close enough in type to these exempt jobs that they too should be deemed exempt. In this matter, a federal district court ruled that service adviser positions are exempt. However, a federal appeals court later ruled that the lower court was wrong and reversed that ruling.
So, what the U.S. Supreme Court decides in this case will affect whether service advisers at auto dealers will have federal overtime protections. Whether a given worker has such protections is very impactful, as it affects what their employer can and can’t do and what sorts of legal rights and options the worker has.
What do you think the Supreme Court will end up deciding in this case?
Source: ABC News, “High Court to Decide on Overtime Pay for Car Dealer Workers,” Jan. 15, 2016