SAN ANTONIO — A group of almost 100 current and former personal trainers for Gold’s Gym recently scored a huge victory after settling their unpaid overtime lawsuit with the defendant, securing both an award and a ruling upholding the plaintiffs as overtime nonexempt employees. The defendant sought to dismiss the later through the course of settlement but the judge denied the move, calling it a “matter of first impression” in the Western District of Texas where the plaintiffs filed suit.
The plaintiffs will take home part of the $625,000 settlement, which includes an additional $290,000 to cover attorneys’ fees and court costs to litigate the matter. The plaintiffs first filed suit back December 2013, arguing they routinely worked over 40 hours per week and their duties and pay did make them overtime exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Commissions Violated FLSA, Constituted an Hourly Wage
According to the complaint, the trainers were compensated on a two-part system which included a flat rate for all the hours they spent on the gym floor performing various tasks throughout their shift. The other part of the compensation system included paying out percentages of training sessions and exercise classes sold by the trainers.
While the defendant argued the latter constituted a bona fide commision-based system, the plaintiffs contended Gold’s Gym did not meet the FLSA standards for commission pay. Under the Act, commissions must be a percentage of the price passed on to the customer and are decoupled from actual time worked. The latter provision is important since its purpose is to incentivize productivity.
The judge ruled the defendant failed to satisfy the second part of the FLSA’s commission pay requirement since the commissions on sessions sold by the personal trainers because those commissions ultimately constituted an hourly wage since the classes were sold in one-hour increments. The court upheld an earlier ruling from May 2016 holding the commissions were hourly wages, setting an important precedent for future possible lawsuits in the Western District of Texas.
Gym Personal Trainer Overtime Pay Lawsuits
Call (855) 754-2795 or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form on the top right of this page if you feel that you and and other employees believe 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.