NEW YORK — Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, only certain classes of employees like “executives,” “professionals,” and “administrators” performing certain job duties are overtime exempt and may be paid salaries. However, employers may also put an employee on salary if he or she works a fluctuating workweek with no set amount of hours.
Under a fluctuating workweek, an employee’s base salary is the same regardless of how many hours worked but is still entitled to overtime for time spent on the job above the overtime threshold. Calculations for overtime pay are based on the average hourly rate for all the hours worked in a particular week and the worker is compensated only for the extra premium time for overtime hours. Furthermore, the employee’s hours must actually fluctuate above and below 40 hours per week and cannot be put on this type of salary to avoid expensive overtime premium pay.
Another important caveat of the fluctuating workweek salary pay is the employee must understand he or she is paid based on that method. Under the law, there must be a “clear mutual understanding” about how the worker is paid or else the employer may end up on the hook for one and a half times the worker’s regular rate of pay.
How Much Information Does My Employer Need to Give Me?
One recent case taken up by a federal Court of Appeals examined just how much information employees need to satisfy the “clear and mutual understanding” portion of the FLSA’s statute on fluctuating workweek pay. The case was brought forth to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals by a gentleman claiming his lack of English language skills made it impossible for him to understand the details of his pay.
Unfortunately for the plaintiff, the Appeals Court affirmed a lower District Court’s ruling in favor of the defendant on the grounds the worker need not understand “every contour” of the fluctuating workweek method. The court determined through depositions and other testimony the plaintiff understood his base pay would remain the same regardless of how many hours he worked.
Fluctuating Workweek Overtime Pay 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.