Connecticut Supreme Court Partially Strikes Down Federal “Fluctuating” Workweek Rule

Aug 25 2017

Last week, the Connecticut Supreme Court partially struck down the federal “fluctuating” workweek rule for Connecticut’s workers, stating the system of denying employees their full overtime compensation can no longer be used to calculate overtime pay for a limited group of workers in the state.

Garrison, Levin-Epstein, Fitzgerald & Pirrotti Partners Stephen Fitzgerald and Joshua Goodbaum were part of the legal team that argued against the fluctuating workweek rule.

In a 6-0 ruling, the justices said the federal fluctuating workweek rule, which is used to calculate overtime pay, is no longer allowed for retail workers who are paid on commission.

The ruling clarified how overtime pay is calculated in Connecticut.

The issue stems from a 2014 lawsuit where two former General Nutrition Center store managers filed a lawsuit alleging they were shortchanged under the fluctuating workweek method that is used in most states. The plaintiffs said GNC’s method illegally calculated their overtime rate based on the total number of hours they worked each week, rather than the usual workweek of 40 hours.

According to the plaintiffs, under GNC’s rules, the salaried employees received lower hourly rates the longer they worked.

The Connecticut Supreme Court agreed, stating that GNC’s interpretation of a “usual work week” was unreasonable.

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