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Connecticut State Supreme Court Strikes Overtime Rule for Retail Workers Paid Commission

HARTFORD — The Connecticut state Supreme Court recently handed down a significant ruling striking down the so-called “fluctuating workweek” under the federal overtime pay system that many retailers push on sales persons paid on a commission basis. The 6-0 ruling is significant for workers in the state, as it allows certain retail workers in Connecticut to receive overtime pay commensurate with the long hours many of these employees put into their careers to earn a living for themselves and their families.

According to the unpaid overtime lawsuit, originally filed in September 2014 in U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, General Nutrition Centers, Inc. (GNC) underpaid its sales managers their overtime wages in violation of the Connecticut Minimum Wage Act. Under the Act, non-overtime exempt workers who earn hourly wages must be paid one and a half times the worker’s total earnings by the number of hours in the usual work week for time spent on the job above the 40-hour overtime threshold.

However, GNC paid these workers on a fluctuating workweek schedule, meaning the employees should earn a minimum weekly salary regardless of how many hours these individuals spent on the job. Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employees paid on a fluctuating workweek schedule must work above and below the 40-hour overtime threshold to qualify for such a pay classification.

The plaintiffs claimed GNC violated state wage laws because it calculated overtime pay for store managers dividing their total weekly compensation by the actual number of hours they worked and multiplying by one-half. With these types of calculations, the plaintiffs’ overtime pay actually deceased as they worked more hours and therefore violates state wage laws. Although employers may still be able to pay some workers in the state based on a fluctuating pay rate, retail managers earning commissions will no longer be subject to the federal standards and will now have the more robust state wage and  labor protections.

Store Manager Unpaid Overtime Lawsuit

Call (855) 754-2795 or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form on the top right of this page if you feel that your wage rights are being violated under the FLSA. Our top-rated team of unpaid wage lawyers will evaluate your situation to determine your best course of action to help you seek justice.

Our office will also determine if it is in your best interest to file a lawsuit against your employer. Because strict time limitations apply for filing these types of claims, we advise you contact our experienced unpaid overtime wage attorneys at your earliest convenience and preserve your legal rights.

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