MILWAUKEE — City employees in Sheboygan, Wisconsin have filed a potential class action overtime pay lawsuit against the city. The employees claim the city failed to pay them the overtime wages they were entitled to as well as improperly deducted and transferred wages for health care premiums. The plaintiffs are seeking reimbursement for the health care premiums and back wages for the miscalculated overtime pay.
The Employee Claim
The lawsuit currently has three named plaintiffs, Matthew Braesch, Matthew Walsh, and Dan Gilbertson, but there are at least 18 additional employees who could join the lawsuit in the future. The employees’ claims are not the typical overtime claim. Generally, when an overtime claim is brought, it is based on misclassification, improper recording of hours worked, or the employer simply did not pay overtime at all.
In this case, however, the employees received overtime, their hours were properly recorded, and they were not misclassified as exempt from overtime. The Sheboygan city employees’ claims are based on how the city calculated the overtime wages they were paid. Once city employees reached the hourly wage cap for their position, the city would provide wage increases as bonuses. The bonuses were lump sums and the city did not factor them into the employees’ regular rates. Since the bonuses were not factored into the regular rate, the employees allege the city failed to properly calculate their overtime wages and denied them the overtime they had earned.
Compounding the city employees’ claims of unpaid wages is a claim that the city improperly transferred healthcare premium deductions. The employees claim the improper transfer made the wages deducted not actual wages. The city, of course, disagrees, claiming that the money it transferred consisted of city contributions and not those of the employees. However, if the money transferred was from the employees’ wages, the employees should be entitled to back wages for the health care premiums, as well as the unpaid overtime.
Calculating overtime for the majority of employees is fairly straightforward. An hourly employee who receives a set hourly rate will receive one and a half times that hourly rate in overtime for all of the time worked beyond a 40-hour workweek. Hourly employees who receive commissions or regular bonuses, on the other hand, should receive overtime based on total amount of wages earned during that workweek. This is one of the reasons it is important and required that employers maintain proper and accurate records of all of the hours an employee works as well as all of the regular and additional wages they have earned.
If your employer does not provide accurate pay statement or fails to take into consideration commissions or bonuses when calculating overtime, you may have a claim against your employer. Contact our team of knowledgeable overtime pay lawyers today. Our experienced legal team can be reached at (855) 754-2795 or by completing our Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form. If we accept your case, we will represent you under our No Fee Promise. This means there are no legal fees or costs unless you receive a settlement.