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Not so long ago, retail stores routinely promoted employees to a managerial position, paid them with a salary but gave them responsibilities that were pretty much the same as the employees they were presumably supervising.  What was the motive behind these promotions?  Often, it was to avoid paying the promoted employee a premium rate when they worked over 40 hours per week.  According to relevant law, if an employee is paid a minimum salary (at least $35,568 per year), is a manager, supervises at least two other employees and has the ability to hire and fire them or engages in clerical work and exercises discretion and independent judgment, then the employer need not pay them overtime.  In the past, employers have stretched the definition of what it means to supervise other employees and what it means to exercise discretion and independent judgment.  About fifteen years ago, the plaintiff bar brought a wave of litigation against retailers who stretched that definition too far, i.e., called someone an assistant manager who stocked shelves and had no real hiring or firing power, and many retailers retreated from the practice. 

Apparently the practice is back.  According to a recent article in Time, it is back with a vengeance.  See   As the article notes:

Over the 10-year period, researchers found a 485% surge in the use of misleading managerial titles for salaried positions with earnings only slightly above the $455-a-week threshold. “Our results suggest broad usage of overtime avoidance using job titles across locations and over time, persisting through the present day,” the study concludes. 

This use of deceptive job titles ends up saving companies nearly 14% in overtime expenses for each so-called manager, the researchers found.

Some examples of potentially sketchy job-listing language, according to the study [are as follows]:


  • A position as front desk clerk that’s advertised as “director of first impressions”

  • A barber position that’s listed as a “grooming manager” role

  • A posting for a restaurant host or hostess that calls for a “guest experience leader”


If you believe that you occupy one of these phony manager positions and are working over 40 hours per week without being paid overtime, then you should reach out to Edgar Law LLC.  We are prepared to assist you in identifying any overtime claims you may have against your employer.

Disclaimer: Edgar Law LLC provides this information as a service to client and other friends for educational purposes only. It should not be construed or relied on as legal advice or to create a lawyer-client relationship. Attorney Advertising.