I am with a very large engineering company. They have classified me as non-exempt; however, they only pay straight time when I work overtime. They claim that because I have over 15-years experience, this is the reason. CAN THEY DO THAT and be within the labor law.
Ummm, no. Non-exempt, by definition means that you are not exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act. Over 40 hours a week (or 8 hours a day if you live in certain states), requires overtime pay.
They are totally lame.
There are some IT jobs that allow you to be paid by the hour, but not be eligible for overtime. But, there are NO jobs that say, “because you have lots of experience, you are now exempt.” But, if you were exempt, they would be paying you straight salary regardless of the hours you work.
Go and ask again and ask them to show you the statute that allows them to refrain from paying you overtime. They won’t be able to produce it (unless you are one of those special IT people…) Ask for back pay. If they say no, file a complaint with the Department of Labor.