Are Automobile Dealer Employees Covered under the FLSA?

With the current state of the automobile industry and the economy in general, many people working for car dealerships in the relatively well-off parts of the Atlanta area are concerned about the security of their positions or coping with the loss of their jobs.

Car dealerships offer a wide range of jobs, from sales associates to mechanics to receptionists, and the size and type of dealerships can vary greatly. The key question for employees seeking advice from an employment lawyer is determining which jobs and dealerships are covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

There are two types of coverage under the FLSA that may apply depending on the circumstances. Enterprise coverage applies to all employees of new or used automobile dealerships if the dealership has at least $500,000 in gross sales per year. Even smaller dealerships may provide FLSA coverage if the work regularly involves interstate commerce, regardless of annual sales volume.

Individually, there are important questions regarding which job functions are covered under the FLSA and could potentially form the basis of a lawsuit against the dealership. While basic hourly workers are typically covered, there may be uncertainties regarding sales staff, particularly if there are commission draws or irregular pay schedules. Garage supervisors and finance personnel working on an hourly or commission basis also raise questions.

Certain exemptions exist that remove specific employees from certain FLSA requirements. For automobile dealerships, common exemptions include sales and parts personnel, mechanics, service writers, certain managers, and administrative employees who may be exempt from overtime or minimum wage requirements.

Moreover, there are certain job restrictions for individuals under the age of 18 at dealerships.

If you work for a car dealership and have questions about whether your job is covered under federal law, it is advisable to consult an Atlanta employment law attorney.