Exempt employee non exempt work

My boss in a move to save money has decided not to staff our locations with field mechanics. I work for a company that sells construction equipment and it sometimes breaks down in the field. We, the exempt employees, managers and sales people are sometimes expected to go fix it. Recently, I had to take my 4 year old special needs child out of bed at 11:30 at night for one such occurrence. Is there anything that bars employers from forcing exempt employees to do this kind of work?

Asked on September 19, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Florida

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

There is no legal prohibition against this unless you have an employment contract or union agreement to the contrary. The fact is that most employment relationships are "at will'. This means that a company can set the conditions of work much as it sees fit (absent some form of legally actionable discrimination). Accordingly, an exempt employee can be made to perform some of the duties of a non-exempt employee. If the exempt employee's duties consists primarily of non-exempt work, then they would go from exempt to non-exempt status, which would make them entitled to overtime pay when appropriate.

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

There is no legal prohibition against this unless you have an employment contract or union agreement to the contrary. The fact is that most employment relationships are "at will'. This means that a company can set the conditions of work much as it sees fit (absent some form of legally actionable discrimination). Accordingly, an exempt employee can be made to perform some of the duties of a non-exempt employee. If the exempt employee's duties consists primarily of non-exempt work, then they would go from exempt to non-exempt status, which would make them entitled to overtime pay when appropriate. 


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