Advantage RN, LLC, a nurse staffing firm, agreed to pay $3.2 million to settle a class action wage and hour lawsuit.
Nurses working with the company alleged the firm routinely failed to pay overtime in accordance with California state law. The company allegedly did not calculate regular pay rates properly, which resulted in incorrect overtime rates. The position of the nurses was that these errors in payment calculations could be construed as unfair business practices under state law, and that as such they were entitled to additional compensation because they were not paid all the wages they were owed when their employment with the company ended.
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), all non-exempt employees have the right to receive overtime payment at a rate of at least one and a half times their regular rate of pay for all hours worked past 40 in a workweek. A failure to properly calculate the standard pay rate can result in some significant discrepancies for overtime payment, especially over long periods of time.
The U.S. Department of Labor offered some clarification on the definition of “regular rate” in December, which cleared up when some types of benefits (wellness or fitness programs, parking benefits, tuition benefits, adoption assistance, employee discounts) can be excluded from “regular rate.” In addition, it stated the way a bonus is labeled has no bearing on whether or not it can be considered discretionary, and offered examples of when some discretionary bonuses may not be included in “regular” rate of pay.
To learn more about your rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act and the best way of proceeding if an employer violates those rights, contact an experienced whistleblower lawyer at Kardell Law Group.