Change Salary to Hourly?

We are a manufacturing company. We have four plant supervisors that do essentially the same job in four similar departments. All four positions were initially hourly and are non-exempt. Several years ago, before I arrived, two of these supervisors were put on salary, while the other two were left on hourly. As best I can tell, this was done as a reward to the two salaried supervisors for their long time with the company. I know - not a good reason for making someone a salaried employee. In any event I want to return the two salaried supervisors to hourly positions, so that are four are paid in the same manner.

What is the best way to take a salaried employee back to an hourly wage? Thanks!


  • 5 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • First, you've already stated that the first move wasn't made for the best of reasons, so what are your reasons now for moving them back to non-exempt?

    Second, well, actually, just the first for now. x:-)
  • Keep in mind that just because a position receives a salary, that does not mean they are automatically an exempt employee. You can have salaried, non-exempt employees. You still must pay them OT beyond the 40 hour work week. With this in mind, it is difficult to understand how being in a salaried position is a reward. If you are treating them like an exempt EE, this is a mistake that could cost you a ton of dollars and by the way, supervisors can make it into the exempt category if they are supervising two or more EEs. It may make more sense to move the other two to exempt than to move the salaried EEs to non-exempt. Apply the short and/or long test to the job descriptions and determine if the position is exempt or non-exempt. Then your next moves will be based on that answer.
  • [font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 01-19-04 AT 06:45PM (CST)[/font][br][br]How can a plant shift supervisor be non-exempt? I assume you have people on each shift whose work these supervisors direct. I also assume these supervisors make certain independent decisions on their shift. If they're just line production workers with a title, that's another matter. You either have all of them mis-titled or half of them misclassified. Please continue.
  • "Dandy Don", the answer to your question is because the company chooses to do so. But we can not have it both ways. Once one chooses to pay a supervisor as a non-exempt then one must follow the guidelines of the FLSA to the letter of the law. We do it and we pay for it, when by law we don't have to, for we are an agriculture operation and exempt from the FLSA, but we choose to follow FLSA because we must be competitive with other industry in the employment arena.

    Now for the POSTING, I recommend you stick with the supervisor rule of directing the action of at least 80 hours a week split between at least two other employees, while having hiring, firing, performance review, and directing their work responsibilities. If this works for all four then get them all on the same page.

    NOW MY CAUTION: Be prepared to relook the history of those on salary as a "reward forlong term service" and the number of hours that they worked per week and the O/T hours that they are entitled to but have not been paid. Your problem is probably the company no longer has a record of the hours worked, once they were put on salary they were most likely told "now you do not have to punch in and punch out"! Guess who has a detailed record of the O/T hours written on their personal calendar, or date book, etc; guess whose record will be accepted by the Wage and Hour Folks when they get ready to retire? Obviously, it will be the ee placed on salary that kept a detail record!!! OUCH!!!

    Now considering this information, is it wise to try and correct the situation and turn over a sleeping "rabid sleeping dawg"? I can't answer that question for you, but it most definately must be considered. I would correct the situation and admit the company was wrong. But maybe the companies' decision was right (like we do)to have Supervisor's on wage conditions and now chooses to award the proper status to these two long term ees, and will also in the future bring the other two into the same classification and salary all supervisors.


  • Before you make a move one way or the other with the two supervisors, you need to apply the Wage & Hour test to determine whether or not the nonexempt supervisors should be exempt or whether they should all be nonexempt. I am a manufacturer and when I came to work 19 years ago, a salaried or hourly status was determined by my predecessor going around the building asking all employees whether or not they wanted to be salaried or hourly. That was it. Some decided they wanted to be salaried, others wanted the overtime pay. All of my supervisors (12) are exempt because of the Wage & Hour test.
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