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The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will decide how the state’s overtime laws should be interpreted after hearing oral arguments in a case challenging a formula for calculating overtime.
Salaried employees with General Nutrition Centers (GNC) said in a 2013 lawsuit filed in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas that the company operated under a fluctuating workweek model that divides their salary by the number of hours worked and then divides the rate in half to calculate overtime.
Workers - Time - Half - Rate - Overtime
The workers argued they were entitled to time and half of their regular rate for overtime hours worked per the state’s Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act. The court agreed and awarded the employees $1.7 million in back pay. The Pennsylvania Superior Court upheld the trial court’s decision.
Paying overtime using the fluctuating workweek model is legal under the Federal Labor Standards Act., GNC attorney Robert W. Pritchard said. But the state Department of Labor did not clarify if those standards apply to the state law when adopting portions of the FLSA in 1977’s Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act.
Labor - Department - FLSA - Statewide - Pritchard
Since the Labor Department uses the FLSA, it should apply statewide as well, Pritchard told the court.
While the 0.5 percent allowance for overtime pay is an alternative method of the FLSA, it doesn’t apply to the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act, Michael Simon, who represented the employees, said.
Pritchard - View - Pennsylvania - Legislature - FLSA
"His [Pritchard’s] view is that the Pennsylvania Legislature intended to adopt FLSA standards," Justice Max...
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