(CN) – Three former horseracing officials are not barred from recovering overtime pay, the 4th Circuit ruled, because their jobs were not administrative.
The decision overturns a finding that the employees were not entitled to overtime after they were fired for posting an incorrect order of finish for a horse race at Charles Town Races & Slots in West Virginia.
Charles Town argued that the plaintiffs’ administrative roles barred them from overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
The district court granted summary judgment to the defendants, holding that the plaintiffs’ jobs were indispensable to the business and were therefore administrative in nature.
The federal appeals court in Richmond, Va., disagreed.
“That the position of racing official was ‘indispensable’ because of state law, rather than business practice, does not alter analysis,” Judge Agee wrote.
“Both the FLSA and its regulations make clear that an employee is exempt based on the type of work performed by the individual, not whether business practice or applicable law require a position to exist.”
The court concluded that a racial official’s task of staging live horse races is more of a production role than an administrative one.
“Because a racing official’s duties are not directly related to the general business operations of Charles Town Gaming, the position does not satisfy the requirements for administrative exemption under the FLSA.”
The three-judge panel reversed and remanded.