Employees who support businesses performing office functions are often dubbed “administrative” employees, whether for wage-and-hour purposes or otherwise. The question under the Fair Labor Standards Act is whether they are administratively exempt from overtime. Answering that question in the affirmative, Judge William S. Duffey, Jr. recently found an office worker for an electrical services firm to so qualify. Ramsey v. Wallace Elec. Co., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39550 (N.D. Ga. Mar. 27, 2015).
As an office worker, Ramsey administered Human Resources forms and company policy, dealt with customer issues and handled invoicing with “rare” review from her superiors. She also managed the company’s benefits program and tracked vacation time. The court found, citing to the Eleventh Circuit’s prior decision in the similar case of Rock v. Ray Anthony Int’l, LLC, 2010 U.S. App. LEXIS 10775 (11th Cir. May 26, 2010), that her duties were “exclusively administrative” and that she exercised judgment both in creating invoices and through her responsibility for handling discrepancies in timesheets and invoices.
Ramsey reinforces that administrative employees qualify for the exemption where they autonomously handle important office functions. Employers must regularly analyze how they classify office staff under the FLSA.