In October of 2012 the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit heard a case involving a Quicken loan mortgage bankers who claimed they were not paid overtime pursuant to the FLSA. (See Henry v. Quicken Loans, Inc., 698 F.3d 897 (6th Cir. 2012)). In this Louisville FLSA nonpayment of overtime wages case, the mortgage banker in this case sought what they thought was rightfully earned overtime wages. The mortgage bankers thought they were glorified salesmen. Id. After a lengthy five week trial the jury came back in favor of Quicken. The plaintiffs filed this motion and after further consideration, this court upheld the trial’s decision.
Pursuant to the FLSA, employees must be compensated one and one-half times their regular hourly pay for each hour worked in excess of forty hours per week. (cites omitted). There are several exemptions. One is when the employee is compensated at a rate not less than $455 per week, whose primary duty is the performance of office or non-manual work directly related to the management or general business operations of the employer or the employer’s customers, and whose primary duty includes the exercise of discretion and independent judgment with respect to matters of significance. Id. (A Louisville overtime FLSA lawyer can assist you in making this determination.)
The two parties in this Louisville overtime FLSA case agreed with the first prong but disagreed over the next two. As to the management-related prong, to satisfy this requirement, the employee’s primary duty must involve work directly related to the management or general business operations of the company or its customers. Id. “In this setting, “primary duty” does not mean the most time-consuming duty; it instead connotes the principal or chief – meaning the most important – duty performed by the employee.” (cites omitted). Nor do labels or titles by themselves answer the question. Id. At trial the jury in this Louisville overtime FLSA case believed that it was not their primary duty to sale financial products. The plaintiff’s Louisville overtime FLSA lawyer did his best but the jury just did not buy his argument.
The U.S. Department of Labor has offered guidance with regard to financial services employees. It has held that such employees in the “financial services industry generally meet the duties requirements for the administrative exemption fi their duties include work such as collecting and analyzing information regarding the customer’s income, assets, investments or debts; determining which financial products best meet the customer’s needs and financial circumstance; advising the customer regarding the advantages and disadvantages of different financial products; and marketing, servicing, or promoting the employers’ financial products. However, an employee whose primary duty is selling financial products does not qualify for the administrative exemption.” (cites omitted).
Next, as to the discretion and independent judgment prong, the court looked at the testimony during the Louisville overtime FLSA case and saw that many witnesses testified that they had discretion and independent judgment on the job. Id. The mortgage bankers made recommendations to clients about the products that fit their own need and that picking the actual loan for a client was all up the individual mortgage banker. Id.
If you have been the subject of a Louisville overtime FLSA case, please call and speak to a Louisville overtime FLSA lawyer at the Law Offices of Andrew Alitowski, P.A. at 888-ASK-ANDREW (888-275-2637) or contact us. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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