The Department of Labor (“DOL”) released an opinion letter addressing whether certain overtime payments based on an expected number of hours may be credited towards the amount of overtime pay owed under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and whether such overtime payments are excludable from the regular rate. The answer to both questions is yes.

The inquiry came from a business that provides in-home care services on a live-in basis or for shifts of 24 hours or more. The employer pays an hourly rate plus overtime based on anticipated overtime hours. The caregivers typically work five days a week for 120 or more hours. Given the nature of the caregivers’ work, the employer found it difficult to track which hours the caregivers were actually working. The employer therefore treats the employees as performing compensable work for the entire extended shift, minus 8 hours allotted for sleeping and meal breaks. If a caregiver has any work-related interruptions to meal or sleep periods, the caregiver is to track those hours and they are counted as compensable time. If a caregiver works more than anticipated, then the employer supplements the prepaid compensation at a rate of 1.5 times the caregiver’s hourly rate for each unanticipated hour of work over 40 hours.


Continue Reading Pay Me Now, or Pay Me Later? Wages Paid for Anticipated Overtime are Excludable from Employees’ Regular Rate

Screen clip from Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
U.S. DOL Issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

On November 5, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor published a proposed rule that would make it easier for some employers to apply the “Fluctuating Workweek” method of calculating overtime pay for certain non-exempt employees.

Background

For those not familiar with the concept, the fluctuating workweek method is one way of calculating overtime pay for non-exempt employees who are paid a fixed salary but whose hours fluctuate from week to week. The fluctuating workweek method can be extremely advantageous for employers because it allows an employer to pay a non-exempt employee a fixed salary covering all of the employee’s straight-time work, regardless of the number of hours worked. If an employee works overtime, they still receive premium pay for each hour worked, but the rate is one-half of the employee’s regular rate instead of 1.5 times the regular rate. For a full explanation of this method and the conditions under which it can be used, check out our earlier explanation here.

Under the current rules, several conditions must be met before an employer can use the fluctuating workweek method. These include:


Continue Reading DOL Proposes Rule to Make Bonus and Incentive Pay Compatible With Fluctuating Workweek

As the holiday lights start to fade, we come to one of the most anticipated times of the year – bonus season!

Such a happy time. Who doesn’t love getting a bonus, and what employer doesn’t like rewarding good performance with some extra monetary recognition? Bonuses are great, but keep in mind that they also

Earlier today (April 2, 2018), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that auto service advisers (also commonly referred to as “service writers”) are exempt from overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).  Today’s ruling in Encino Motorcars LLC  v. Navarro et. al. has affirmatively answered the long-standing question as to whether auto service advisers

As my colleague Bill Pokorny reported back on August 31, a Texas District Court struck down the Obama Administration’s FLSA Overtime Exemption Rule, holding that the Department of Labor (DOL)  exceeded its authority by increasing the minimum salary for the Executive, Administrative, and Professional Exemptions to $913 per week. In a (somewhat) surprise move,

FAQs17489126.jpgQ. Our school district has hourly, non-exempt employees who occasionally perform extra work for the district – for example, chaperoning a school dance, or taking tickets at home games. Do we need to track the hours that employees perform on these tasks and pay them overtime if their total work hours go over 40 for a single week?

A. Usually, when an employee works more than one job for an employer, the rule under the FLSA is that the employer must aggregate all of the employee’s work hours for each workweek. If the employee’s total hours go over 40, they’re entitled to overtime pay, even if the extra work was in a separate job and completely voluntary on the part of the employee. (See our earlier post on this subject for a more detailed discussion.)

However, Section 7(p)(2) of the FLSA creates a limited exception to this rule for state and local government employees. Three conditions have to be met in order for this exception to apply:
Continue Reading Do School Employees Get Overtime For Occasional Extra Duty? [Wage & Hour FAQ]

Yesterday, the United States House of Representatives passed a bill, H.R. 6094 (the “bill” referred to as the Regulatory Relief for Small Businesses, Schools and Nonprofits Act), that would delay the effective date of the Department of Labor’s new overtime rule by 6 months, from December 1, 2016 to June 1, 2017.  The Vote passed the House 246-177, with 5 Democrats voting in favor of it.  This is just the latest challenge to the DOL’s doubling of the minimum salary threshold for the white collar exemptions (executive, administrative, and professional) under the Fair Labor Standards Act.  Business groups, congressional Republicans and State Officials have all criticized the drastic economic impact such a measure would have on businesses.

Continue Reading House Votes to Delay OT Rule But Employers Are Not Out of the Woods Yet