Friday, October 4, 2013

He made too much money to qualify for overtime pay

You are entitled to overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). But there are many exceptions. This case highlights one of them.

The case is Anani v. CVS RX Services, decided on September 20. If you work more than 40 hours a week, you get time-and-a-half overtime pay. But if you make too much money and handled executive, administrative or professional duties, you are not entitled to that benefit. Plaintiff worked for CVS as a pharmacist until he resigned in 2009. His total compensation per year was more than $100,000. Of course, as a pharmacist, he was a professional.

Numerous regulations interpret the FLSA, including the one that dooms Anani's case. Employees who make "not less than" $455.00 per week are exempt from the overtime rules. Plaintiff exceeded that salary each week. Another regulation says that employees are exempt from overtime rules if they earn at least $100,000 per year. So he does not get the overtime.

Plaintiff argued that the exemption does not apply to him. Working with the FLSA regulations, he argues that "that his total earnings so substantially exceeded his guaranteed salary -- slightly less than 2 to 1 – that the relationship between the guaranteed salary and his total earnings was unreasonable." The Court of Appeals (Winter, Straub and Chin) does not get this argument at all. It took over a year for the Court to decide this case, perhaps because the regulations are tricky. The Court drops a footnote that asks future litigants to brief a few particular issues arising from those rules to help the Court untangle them.

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