Not all employees in California are entitled to overtime pay. However, there are instances in which employers may take advantage of wage and hour laws in an attempt to avoid having to pay workers for overtime. Sometimes employers simply may not realize that they have misclassified workers as salaried employees instead of hourly employees, denying workers overtime pay that they may be legally entitled to.
In either case, workers should make sure that they receive the compensation they deserve based on the number of hours they work each week. Recently, a former employee who worked for Celine Dion filed a lawsuit against the singer citing unpaid overtime.
After years of being employed by the singer and her husband, the employee states that he had worked more than 40 hours per week on numerous occasions. He claims that he has never been compensated for working extra hours because Dion had misclassified his work status to avoid paying overtime.
According to the lawsuit, the man was classified as an "exempt" employee and hired by Dion and her husband as a "warehouse manager" in 2009. However, the complaint states that the man was the couple's only employee at their warehouse. Because he did not have managerial powers over other employees, the lawsuit states that the man should have been classified as a "non-exempt" employee. This status would have made him eligible for overtime pay whenever a work week exceeded 40 hours.
The employee did receive a raise during the course of his employment, but he was never compensated for overtime hours worked between the start of his employment until the end of his employment, which was last month.
Dion has not responded to the former worker's complaint. Even if the singer and her husband did not intentionally misclassify the warehouse worker's status, the couple could still be required to pay the man for any unpaid overtime from 2009 through June 2012.
Source: Chicago Tribune, "Celine Dion sued by employee for overtime violations," Tim Kenneally, June 29, 2012