In March 2010 the Department of Labor (DOL) issued an Administrator's Interpretation (AI) declaring that mortgage loan officers are hourly workers subject to overtime pay and not exempt employees on a salary or commission schedule.

Just this past month, however, a federal jury concluded that 350 mortgage loan officers employed by Quicken Loans are indeed exempt employees and do not deserve any back pay for overtime, as their lawsuit alleged.

Quicken Loans founder and Chairman Dan Gilbert quickly announced: "It was never about money for us. It was always about right and wrong."

Regardless of how Gilbert defines his company's motivation, the court case shows that judges and juries can often draw different conclusions than the administrators at the DOL.

Still, it would not be good policy to ignore DOL interpretations in conducting your business. The difference between borderline exempt and non-exempt classifications often depends on how the courts in a specific jurisdiction view such matters. Meanwhile, the FLSA does provide definitions and tests to determine exempt status in most cases.

Fortunately, Personnel Concepts has recently published its FLSA Compliance Program, complete with an easy-to-follow instructional manual and CD-ROM for compliance. Get yours today.