A general manager may have to pay his employer’s wage-and-hour debts

emptypockets.jpgEarlier this month, in this post, I highlighted a Pennsylvania federal court opinion recognizing that the Fair Labor Standards Act definition of “employer” is broad enough to bestow personal liability for a company’s wage-and-hour debts upon its President/CEO.

Well, how about a general manager that has zero ownership interest in the company? Could he too be personally responsible if his company fails to pay minimum wage or overtime?

According to a recent decision from an Illinois federal court, there answer is yes:

This analysis looks at the totality of the circumstances of the employment relationship, as opposed to formalistic or technical labels. Courts focus not on whether the individual controlled ‘every aspect’ of an employee’s job, but whether the individual ‘had control over the alleged FLSA violation.’… Although low-level supervisors, such as those without control over a corporation’s payroll, generally are not individually liable under FLSA, ‘[a] general manager may be personally liable for FLSA violations if he or she acted on behalf of the corporation to cause the violations.’

I’m pretty sure that this decision means that the Brooklyn Nets can stick its General Manager with the bill for all of the overpaid has-beens stinking up the basketball court this season. 

Look out Billy King!