Overtime laws cover all areas of pay and employment.

by on March 30, 2009 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: HR Info Center


A South Carolina company paid overtime on its hourly workers’ base pay all right, but it left out one little detail: commissions.

As a result, the company had to pony up $246,000 in back overtime to 568 employees after a DOL investigation.

To avoid a similar problem, remember that in most cases, bonuses and commissions have to be rolled into base pay per FLSA overtime law.

Cite: DOL v. Tire Centers.

Bonuses omitted from overtime are a violation of FLSA overtime law

Here’s a reminder that various bonuses and differentials must be included when calculating overtime.

An Ohio nursing home paid nearly $50,000 in back wages to 272 workers after a FLSA compliance investigation. The wages were owed because when the firm figured the time-and-a-half premium, it didn’t account for attendance bonuses, weekend differential pay, and other incentive bonuses.

Cite: DOL v. The Franciscan at St. Leonard

Separate checks and FLSA overtime law

An Alabama company had an interesting tactic to avoiding FLSA overtime – it simply issued employees two checks when they worked more than 40 hours.

Both checks were at the regular pay rate.

DOL got wind of this and recovered $102,000 in back overtime for the workers. The company also had to pay a $36,500 fine.

Much of the unpaid wages stemmed from long hours of work the employees did in the Gulf Coast rebuilding effort after Hurricane Katrina, DOL said.

Cite: DOL v. Melvin Pierce Painting.

Employer had to pay for the PDA under overtime law

If your employees carry pagers, careful about how often you page them during unpaid breaks. Those breaks could end up costing you. That’s what an Iowa hospital found out as the result of a FLSA compliance violation.

The hospital required non-exempt nurses and techs to be available by pager. When the hospital frequently interrupted their meal breaks by beeping them, the breaks became compensable under overtime law, DOL said.

This meant 83 people were owed $49,000 in back overtime pay.

Cite: DOL v. Skiff Medical Center.

Overtime law covers trainees

Employees in training are entitled to overtime pay just like any other worker, DOL reminds.

A Milwaukee-based medical supply company failed to pay overtime to some of its workers during a three-month training period.

For that and other violations, DOL said, the company paid $97,000 in back overtime.

Cite: DOL v. Direct Supply Inc.

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