By Noam ScheiberMarch 6, 2023, 3:00 a.m. ET6 MIN READ
“For four years beginning in 2014, Tiffany Palliser worked at Panera Bread in South Florida, making salads and operating the register for shifts that began at 5 a.m. and often ran late into the afternoon.Ms. Palliser estimates that she worked at least 50 hours a week on average. But she says she did not receive overtime pay.The reason? Panera officially considered her a manager and paid her an annual salary rather than on an hourly basis. Ms. Palliser said she was often told that “this is what you signed up for” by becoming an assistant manager.”
“. . . . . Some lawyers said only an increase in the limit below which workers automatically receive overtime pay is likely to meaningfully rein in misclassification. With a higher cutoff, simply paying workers overtime is often cheaper than avoiding overtime costs by substantially increasing their pay and labeling them managers.
“That’s why companies fought it so hard under Obama,” said Ms. Aaron, a partner at Winebrake & Santillo, alluding to a 2016 Labor Department rule raising the overtime limit to about $47,500 from about $23,500. A federal judge suspended the rule, arguing that the Obama administration lacked the authority to raise the salary limit by such a large amount.
The Trump administration later adopted the current cutoff of about $35,500, and the Biden administration has indicated that it will propose raising the cutoff substantially this year. Business groups say such a change will not help many workers because employers are likely to lower base wages to offset overtime pay.” 30