Just what makes an employee exempt from overtime pay? That’s at the heart of the lawsuit filed by Micheal Ortiz, a former Amazon warehouse shift manager in California. Ortiz claims that most of his job was manual labor and not managerial tasks, which are necessary for an employee to be exempt from overtime pay.
The New York Times quotes attorney Jahan Sagafi, a lawyer at Outten & Golden, who is not involved in this case, but does practice employment law. He said:
Amazon faces a heavy burden to show that the workers truly fit within the narrow exemption to overtime pay that the California Legislature established. Just assigning them managerial-sounding work may not be enough, depending on how much they do and what it entails, exactly.”
This is not only a concern in California but in all 50 states. California has stricter standards than the federal law (called the Fair Labor Standards Act or FLSA), but every business needs to be concerned about overtime.