The California Supreme Court issued a decision Monday in a case that is sure to cause headaches for employers when compensating employees through flat sum bonuses. In Alvarado v. Dart Container Corporation of California (S232607) the Court held that for purposes of calculating the regular rate, a flat sum bonus is to be allocated only to the nonovertime hours worked. This holding departs from the calculation methods broadly considered compliant outside of California under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Labor.
The Sixth Circuit recently affirmed a district court’s summary judgment decision finding that an employer, Plastipak Holdings, Inc., Plastipak Packaging, Inc., Plastipak Technologies, LLC, Plastipak, and William C. Young (collectively, “Plastipak”) properly had paid employees using the “fluctuating workweek” method and dismissing plaintiffs’ claims for underpayment of wages under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).
The U.S. Department of Labor continues to work towards dismantling the Obama administration’s overtime rule, saying that it intends to revise the controversial rule to lower the salary threshold under the Fair Labor Standards Act’s white-collar exemptions. The Obama administration’s rule sought to more than double the current salary requirement of $23,660 a year for white-collar exemptions. Though the rule was estimated to make 4 million additional workers eligible for overtime pay, it was also expected to cause employers significant financial and regulatory burdens.
Yesterday, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued a proposed rule that is expected to significantly increase the number of employees who are eligible for overtime. The proposed rule increases the minimum salary threshold for exempt workers from the current level of $23,660 to $50,440. The rule applies to the FLSA’s executive, administrative, professional, and computer employees exemptions, but not the outside sales exemption which does not have a salary basis requirement.
On November 12, 2014, the Ninth Circuit held that sufficient specificity in pleading is required under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in Greg Landers v. Quality Communications Inc. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a proposed overtime class action. While this was an issue of first impression for the Ninth Circuit, the decision falls in line with similar rulings made by the First, Second and Third Circuits and disagrees with the Eleventh Circuit holding that conclusory allegations that merely recite the statutory language are adequate.