The FLSA exempts “Salesman, partsman, or mechanics” at certain car or truck dealerships from overtime pay. 29 U.S.C. 213(b)(10). This exemption is very technical, depends on facts which may not be known to employees and which require careful analysis of the law. Many such employees are misclassified as exempt from the overtime law. Partsmen who do not receive most of their pay through commission have recently been held to be covered by the FLSA overtime and minimum wage protections. Additionally, salesmen, partsmen, mechanics, and service-writers must be paid most of any commission based on warranty work. So to the extent that commission payments are primarily derived from a service department’s non-warranty work, the exemption from the FLSA does not apply. The exemption from overtime for mechanics does not include “employees primarily performing such nonmechanical work as washing, cleaning, painting, polishing, tire changing, installing seat covers, dispatching, lubricating, or other nonmechanical work.” “A tow or wrecker truck driver or helper who performs nonmechanical repair work is not exempt.” Such individuals would be covered by the FLSA and must receive overtime pay. The exemption for any service-writers is also highly suspect.
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