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N.D.Ill.: Duties Listed On Resume Do Not Meet FLSA Defendants’ Burden On Exemption, In Light Of Testimony Regarding Actual Duties Performed

Boring v. World Gym – Bishop, Inc.

Defendants moved for Summary Judgment alleging, among other things, that Plaintiff was administratively exempt under the FLSA, and therefore not entitled to overtime compensation, regardless of whether she worked in excess of 40 hours per week or not. In support of their Motion, the Defendant relied on Plaintiff’s resume (created subsequent to the employment at issue) in which she stated her duties worked, while employed by Defendants. Since, the testimony of actual duties performed largely differed from the resume duties, the Court denied Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment on the exemption issue stating:

“Defendants rely on a description of Boring’s job duties as they appear on her resume. Her resume lists her positions at World Gym as “Accounts Payable, Secretary, Office Manager.” A sampling of the responsibilities listed includes: “Managed 8 full-time employees,” “Customer Service,” “Assisted company comptroller in budgeting, locating and reducing company losses,” “Security and overseeing of repairs,” “Revised and produced Employee Handbook,” “Coordinated resolution of internal theft,” “Assisted in creating slogans and artwork for advertising and sales events,” and “Recommended changes that increased the monthly collections of bad debt by the outside collection company.”The appropriate inquiry, though, is into Boring’s actual job duties and not into what she lists on her resume. Boring denies that she actually performed office manager duties, managed 8 full time employees at World Gym, or actually determined any revisions to be made in the Employee Handbook. Based on the testimony in the record, a reasonable finder of fact could conclude that Boring’s job description as listed on her resume is incompatible with the actual work she performed. Both Al and Barbara described Boring’s primary duties as letter writing and issuing checks.

A reasonable finder of fact could conclude that Boring’s primary duty at World Gym was not directly related to management policies or general business operations and that her work did not include any meaningful exercise of discretion or independent judgment. Accordingly, Defendants have not met their burden of proof that Boring fits within the administrative exemption to the FLSA, and their motion for summary judgment on this claim must be denied.”

Although not groundbreaking, this decision is notable, because it speaks to an issue widely raised by Defendants in FLSA cases, that actual duties are trumped by resume or job description. It is clear from this decision, as many others have previously stated, the inquiry of importance in determining the applicability of an exemption are the actual duties performed, rather than some paper description of same.