Missouri-based discount supermarket chain Save-A-Lot recently came under fire for its overtime policy, which involved lowering the hourly rate of pay for each hour worked that exceeded 40 hours per week, according to the Fairfield County Weekly.
Ed Roach, the assistant manager of one of the store's Connecticut locations, recently filed a lawsuit against the company for its bizarre payroll practices.
Under federal law, it is legal for some workers to be paid a flat weekly rate regardless of whether they are salaried. However, Connecticut state law requires that employees in the mercantile trade be paid a regular rate, provided they do not already receive a commission. This exempts the federal law from applying to businesses in Connecticut.
"This issue in the federal system comes up a lot, and I can tell you there are plenty of judges who say it is okay," Hartford attorney Richard Hayber told the news source. "But we're in Connecticut (and) we have our own laws."
An overtime dispute recently resulted in the owner of Ashley Furniture HomeStores in Lubbock, Texas, agreeing to pay more than $57,000 in back wages to 170 current and former employees following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division.
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One of the most effective ways to avoid lawsuits related to time and attendance is to be fully informed of labor policies on state and federal levels.
Employers might run into trouble if they do not know which federal and state overtime laws apply to their workers.
A 2011 decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit shed light on whether employers can be sued for violating both the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and state labor laws.