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This is scary.

You’d think a person with “Manager” in her job title who was making more than $89,000 a year would be exempt from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Not necessarily.

A federal judge in Maine ruled that Bottomline Technologies, Inc., a financial processing services company, will have to face a jury trial on the wage-and-hour claims of Debra Colello, a former client relations manager for the company. The court ruled that there were disputed facts regarding whether Ms. Colello exercised enough “discretion and independent judgment” in her job to qualify for the administrative exemption under the FLSA. Among other things, although she made recommendations about handling customer issues, her recommendations were never adopted and may even have been mere “perfunctory requests that Bottomline sometimes discouraged.”

You think it’s bad now? Just wait until July, when the U.S. Department of Labor issues its Final Rule on FLSA exemptions. Yikes!

Robin Shea is a Partner with the law firm of Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP and has more than 20 years’ experience in employment litigation, including Title VII and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (including the Amendments Act), the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act, the Equal Pay Act, and the Family and Medical Leave Act; and class and collective actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act and state wage-hour laws; defense of audits by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs; and labor relations. She conducts training for human resources professionals, management, and employees on a wide variety of topics.

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