It sounds good in theory: An employer promises an employee a set amount of money for the day or to complete certain jobs or tasks. Such a pay structure incentivizes employees to work efficiently so as to earn the same amount of money no matter how long the particular job takes on a particular day.
If that employee ends up working overtime hours, the employer is still required to pay that employee overtime, but can pay overtime at a rate less than “time-and-a-half” called the “half-time rate.”
Because an employer is allowed to pay a reduced overtime rate if it pays by the day, an employer is not allowed to pay less than the full day rate at the same time when an employee works a shorter day.
In Andreu v. Waste Pro of Florida, et al., No. 17-60926-CIV (S.D. Fla.), a former day rate employee who was employed by Waste Pro of Florida, Inc. (“Waste Pro”) as a Driver and Helper filed a lawsuit in part because Waste Pro improperly failed to pay him overtime at a rate of time-and-a-half (instead paying him at a half-time rate). Mr. Andreu argued that because he received payments of half of his daily rate if he worked four hours or less in a day, that Waste Pro failed to meet the requirements of 29 CFR § 778.112, the day rate statute.
The jury agreed and awarded Mr. Andreu $34,531.96 in back wages. The judge awarded an equal amount in liquidated damages (double damages) and therefore Waste Pro was required to pay $69,063.92 to Mr. Andreu (plus attorney’s fees and costs).
Similar to Mr. Andreu’s case, the Shavitz Law Group, along with our co-counsel in Connecticut and Washington, D.C., has brought a collective action lawsuit for unpaid overtime wages against Waste Pro on behalf of all Helpers who were paid by the day rate, Thomas v. Waste Pro USA, Inc., et al, No. 17-CV-02254 (M.D. Fla.). To date, approximately 400 employees have joined our case claiming proper overtime wages.
If you are or were an employee paid by a day/job rate by any employer in the past three years and were not paid overtime at a rate of “time-and-a-half” for the hours you worked over 40 in a week, you may be entitled to compensation for unpaid overtime. Please call that Shavitz Law Group at (561) 447-8888 or email us at [email protected] to learn about your rights.