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Are Automobile Dealer Employees Covered under the FLSA?

With the current state of the automobile industry, and the economy in general, and even in the relatively well- off parts of the Atlanta area, many people who work for car dealers are scrambling around, either trying to figure out if their positions are safe, or what to do if they’ve already lost their jobs.

There are dozens of jobs within a car dealership-from sales associate to mechanic to receptionist, and the size and types of dealerships varies widely.

Which of these jobs, and what kind of dealerships, if any, are covered by the FLSA?

Anyone who is employed at a dealership and who is seeking advice from an employment lawyer has to know some of the threshold questions that need to be answered.
There are two types of coverage under the FLSA. Either or both may apply in a given situation depending on the circumstances.

An employee will be covered under Enterprise coverage, which applies to all employees of new or used automobile dealerships, if the dealership has at least $500,000 per year in gross sales. Even if it is a smaller dealership, an employee may receive FLSA coverage if the work regularly involves commerce between states (“interstate commerce”) even if the employer’s annual sales are less than $500,000.

Individually, there will be some major questions as to which job functions are covered under the FLSA, and, therefore, which may form the basis of a lawsuit against the dealership, and which ones are not.

Most basic hourly workers are obviously covered under FLSA, but what about the sales staff, especially if there is a draw against commission or the pay isn’t dispersed on a regularly- scheduled basis.? What about garage supervisors? Finance people who work on an hourly- vs.- commission basis?

Numerous exemptions exist which remove certain types of employees from specified requirements of the FLSA. Among those most commonly applicable to automobile dealerships is one which exempts certain sales and parts personnel, mechanics, and service writers from the overtime requirements. Another exempts certain managers and administrative employees from the minimum wage and overtime requirements.

In addition, there are certain jobs that people under the age of 18 can’t do at a dealership.

If you work for a car dealer, and have any questions about whether or not your job is covered under federal law, you should contact an employment law attorney.

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