$100,000 Salary and an Impressive LinkedIn Profile Not Enough to Exempt Employee from Overtime



In a recent overtime dispute, an employer attempted to use an employee’s LinkedIn profile to establish that the employee was exempt from payment of overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act.  See Trammell v. Amdocs, Inc., No. 2:15-cv-01473-RDP, 2016 WL 3618367 (N.D. Ala. Jul. 6, 2016).  Unfortunately, Judge David Proctor was forced to send the case to trial.

In Trammell, Scott Trammell worked as a Project Management Office Professional for Amdoc, Inc. and was paid more than $100,000.00 in salary in 2014.  He sued for overtime after leaving Amdoc’s employment in 2015.  Amdoc attempted to have the case dismissed at the summary judgment stage and  argued that Trammell was exempt from overtime because he was a highly-compensated employee.  But, the highly-compensated employee exemption only applies if the employee customarily and regularly performs exempt executive, administrative or professional duties.

Trammell flatly denied that he performed executive, administrative or professional duties. Instead, he claimed that he merely generated reports for his supervisor and responded to e-mail correspondence.  So, Amdoc pointed to Trammell’s LinkedIn Profile which suggested that his duties included: management of seven employees and two applications; monitoring and coordinating team projects; providing end to end project management; managing team overload; providing overall delivery of multiple projects; and, coordinating, tracking and reporting IT releases.

In an entertaining opinion, Judge Proctor was forced to send the case to trial because the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure required him to believe Trammell’s denials of responsibility — even when contradicted by the LinkedIn Profile.  The difficulty of Judge Proctor’s decision is found in the following passage:

Would an employer really pay someone like him over $100,000 to merely answer emails and generate reports?  (If so, where can recent college graduates in the IT field obtain an Amdocs application for employment?)  It might even be said that his denial lacks credibility.  But it emphatically is the [jury] who must say that,  not this court ruling on a motion for summary judgment.

Trammell, 2016 WL 3618367 at * 4.