By: Douglas Klein24-Hour Fitness, a nationwide chain of fitness centers, recently agreed to pay nearly $17.5 million to settle a class action suit filed on behalf of trainers and managers who claimed that they were misclassified as exempt employees and denied overtime pay. The 24-Hour Fitness settlement is a reminder to fitness center employers that not all managers and trainers are exempt from the FLSA's overtime requirements. Determining whether an employee qualifies for an overtime exemption requires a fact-specific analysis of the employee's duties and how the employee is paid. For instance, in the case of classifying a trainer as exempt, the employer must ensure the employee at issue successfully completed four academic years of pre-professional and professional study in a specialized curriculum accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, and is certified by the Board of Certifications of the National Athletic Trainers Association Board of Certification. For more information on our firm’s wage and hour audit services tailored to fitness centers, please contact John R. Vreeland, Esq., Director of the firm’s Wage & Hour Compliance Practice Group, email@example.com, or Douglas J. Klein, Esq., firstname.lastname@example.org.