When you're heading to the gym, it often feels like you are working overtime. You just put in your eight hours in the office, sitting in front of a computer and now you have to go spend another hour or so doing hard labor. At least it's supposed to be hard labor.
While we worry about having to get our hour of workout, Gold's Gym trainers have to worry about getting their overtime pay. In March, Gold's Gym purchased Spectrum Clubs in San Antonio and is allegedly continuing a policy of not paying overtime to its "Membership Consultants" or trainers to you and me, according to Courthouse News Service. The trainers claim that they were improperly classified as exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act's overtime provision.
What exactly is an exempt employee?
The Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) is the federal law that covers the minimum wage and overtime laws. The FLSA provides that any work over 40 hours in one week is to be compensated at 1.5 times your normal hourly rate. However, you must be covered by the FLSA and be non-exempt from the overtime provisions.
To be covered, an employee must work at a business that takes in over $500,000 per year in gross receipts, be engaged in interstate commerce, or is a public agency.
Exemptions exist for those types of employees that have a management position or are in specific professions. To be exempt, an employee must be paid over $23,600 per year, be paid on a salary basis, and perform management, administrative, or professional job duties.
Here, it seems like it will be difficult to prove that a personal trainer is in a management or administrative position. Trainers could be in these roles, but they would have to be specifically told that in their employment training.
However, the trainers could find a problem with showing that they are not professionals, because trainers need some advanced training or education to properly help people work out without injuring themselves.
This lawsuit against Gold’s Gym for overtime seems like it could go either way. Perhaps the trainers will show evidence that adds some weight to their side on the scales of justice.
- Want a Houston Employment Lawyer? (FindLaw)
- In Class Action, Houston Paralegal Sues Mostyn Firm For Overtime (FindLaw’s Houston Employment Law Blog)
- The Rules of Working Overtime (FindLaw’s Houston Employment Law Blog)