Last month, the Pennsylvania Superior Court weighed in on its position regarding overtime calculation under the “fluctuating workweek” method. The Court affirmed that the use of this method to determine the amount of overtime owed violates the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act (PMWA), even though this method is permitted under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This dichotomy is sure to raise questions for Pennsylvania employers paying non-exempt employees a weekly salary.
Two Pennsylvania based companies and their staffing agencies recently learned, the hard way, that the Department of Labor (“DOL”) is aggressively targeting employers who allegedly violate the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) by failing to properly pay employees the minimum wage and the overtime hours they may have worked. Both companies utilized temporary workers who were provided by outside staffing agencies to perform work in their facilities. According to the DOL, the temporary workers who worked for one company were paid $6 an hour, in cash, and did not receive time and a half for any overtime hours they may have worked.
The 3rd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (with jurisdiction over Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania) has ruled in Babcock v. Butler County that employees who receive the "predominant benefit" of a meal break are not entitled to have the break treated as worktime under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. In doing so, the 3rd Circuit joined every other federal court of appeals that has directly considered the issue.