Overtime laws and the FLSA

The U.S. Department of Labor requires employers who allow or permits an employee to work more than 40 hours per week is generally required to pay the employee a premium pay for working additional hours.  Employees who are covered by the FLSA must receive overtime pay for hours worked over 40 each week at a rate of at least one and one-half times(time and a half) their regular rates of pay, or face penalty.

Currently, the only way that an employee is guaranteed additional pay for overtime is that if that if you earn $455 per week, or $23,660 a year.  In the summer, the DOL proposed to raise the threshold to $970 per week, or $50,440 per year.  This would be great news for employees under these thresholds, especially those with “management” titles so they don’t receive overtime, even though if they are under the threshold they are required to be paid overtime.  The proposed threshold could affect around $5 million workers, as the experts estimate. 

Paying overtime is the law, and if you fail to do so, you may face serious penalties.  Dick’s Sporting Goods and Time Warner found this out the hard way.  Dick’s Sporting Goods agreed to pay $10 million settlement, and Time Warner has agreed a $3.5 million settlement.

 

Dick’s Sporting Goods

 In the suit, Dick’s agreed to pay $10 million to settle a class action suit for unpaid overtime wages.  The suit was brought on from six employees who had assistant manager positions in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Georgia.  According to the suit, the workers claimed that Dick’s classified them exempt under the FLSA “white collar” rule, which they claimed was inaccurate because their jobs didn’t involve the type of management duties under the “white collar” exemption.

This is not the first time that Dick’s has faced legal trouble with the Department of Labor.  In 2011, Dick’s agreed to pay $15 million to settle a class action lawsuit brought by the workers who claimed that they weren’t compensated for time worked during meal breaks or after their scheduled shifts.    

 

Time Warner

On November 3, 2015 Time Warner Cable and a class of about 2,900 field service technicians in California agreed to a settlement of $3.5 million to settle a wage and hour dispute.  The suit was brought on by two former technicians who claimed that Time Warner Cable required hourly employees to regularly work off the clock, so they failed to pay them minimum wage and overtime pay, after the amount of hours they worked.  Time Warner denied any wrongdoing in this case, although they decided to settle “to avoid the expense of further legal proceedings.”