Facebook charged with misclassifying workers to avoid overtime pay
- A new lawsuit accuses Facebook of deliberately misclassifying a segment of workers to avoid paying them overtime, reports Ars Technica. Susie Bigger, formerly a salaried client solutions manager at Facebook's Chicago office, brought the proposed collective-action suit, alleging that the social media company improperly classifies workers as managers to exempt them from overtime pay.
- Ars Technica says the segment of employees allegedly misclassified are client solutions managers, customer account managers, customer solutions managers and other workers with similar duties. The plaintiffs argue that they don't have managerial duties, so they should be entitled to overtime.
- The suit, involving an unknown number of potential plaintiffs, seeks back pay, interest, damages and attorneys fees. Ars Technica says Facebook denies the allegations and vows to stage a vigorous defense.
It remains to be seen whether the Facebook claims have merit, but misclassification of workers as exempt is a Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) violation. Non-exempt employees must be paid one and a half times their base wage for each hour they work beyond 40 hours in a week.
The law and the U.S. Department of Labor's implementing regulations set out tests that determine whether workers are exempt or non-exempt. Many look at workers' duties but they also include a salary-basis test, which remains in limbo.
When DOL requested more information from the public about what to do with that "overtime rule," it also asked about potential changes to the duties tests. Employers will want to watch for proposed rules from DOL in the coming months, in addition to ensuring compliance with the regs that are on the books now.