Connecticut Supreme Court may consider “fluctuating work week” case

The Connecticut Supreme Court has before it an important case which will affect the way back-pay awards are fashioned in overtime cases brought under the Connecticut Minimum Wage Act (C.G.S. Section 31-58, et seq.).  In Stokes v. Norwich Taxi, the plaintiff made a claim for unpaid overtime wages.  He had been put on a salary and not paid any extra compensation for work in excess of forty hours in a week.  He claimed that he should have been classified as non-exempt and paid time and a half for his overtime work.  His employer claimed, among other things, that the calculation of his overtime premiums should not be time and a half, but instead that it should be based on the fluctuating work week  method of overtime calculation found in the Code of Federal Regulations.  This method calculates the regular rate of pay by dividing the weekly salary by the total number of hours worked rather than by forty.  Employees paid under the fluctuating work week can be paid less than one third of what they deserve.  There is no similar regulation in our Connecticut system.  To see a recent case discussing the pros and cons of this argument, see Hunter v. Sprint Corp., 453 F.Supp.2d 44, (D.D.C. 2006).  Attorney Marc Mercier of Beck & Eldergill is handling the case for the plaintiff.  He says that the court could avoid this issue, but that the issue could be considered.  Lets wish him luck in this important case.