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Modern Management

Your Fancy New Manager Title Might Be Your Boss’s Way to Avoid Paying You Overtime

Study found increasing use of dubious titles like ‘price scanning coordinator’ for salaried workers.

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Companies avoid paying about $4 billion in overtime wages by inventing dubious titles for US employees such as “director of first impressions” and “lead shower door installer,” according to new research on a common practice that skirts federal labor law.

The practice, often deployed by retail and restaurant companies, takes advantage of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which exempts firms  from paying overtime wages if the employee is a manager and gets paid a salary above a certain threshold. From 2010 to 2018, the researchers found a 485% increase in job postings for salaried employees in dodgy managerial roles where duties rarely included any actual management. Companies avoided paying overtime on more than 151 million work hours via this practice, the study found, costing workers an estimated $4 billion in pay.