Fourth Circuit Finds for Plaintiff in FLSA Overtime Case

In Desmond v. PNGI Charles Town Gaming, the Fourth Circuit reversed the trial court, concluding instead that the plaintiff was not exempt from being paid overtime as an administrative employee. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), one of the "white collar" exceptions to the overtime requirement is the administrative exception. An administrative position is "office or non-manual work directly related to the management or general business operations of the employer or the employer's customers" that involves a significant amount of independant discretion.

In this case, the plaintiff was a racing official for a casino and live horse racing facility. The trial court had found the plaintiff to be an administrative employee because his position was indispensable to the business. The Fourth Circuit found otherwise, as the plaintiff's position did not involve the company's general business operations, but rather was similar to positions on a manufacturing production line or selling a product in a retail or service establishment. Therefore, he was entitled to overtime.