Last month, an overtime class action lawsuit affecting workers in Minnesota ended in a seven-figure settlement for the plaintiffs.
In Acevedo v. Brightview Landscapes, a group of landscapers from Minnesota and several other states sued their employer, Brightview Landscapes, claiming that it had a policy of failing to pay overtime to its half-time employees on a fluctuating workweek basis. The employer decided to settle the case and avoid the need to go to trial by paying the landscapers $4,800,000.
This presents an excellent opportunity for businesses and employees in Minnesota to examine their own policies and rights with respect to overtime protections under the Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act.
Minnesota Overtime Laws
Under Minnesota law, non-exempt employees must be paid overtime compensation in the amount of one and a half times the normal hourly rate for any hours worked in excess of 48 in a workweek. Overtime pay during a workweek is based on actual hours worked over the course of a seven-day period, and holiday hours, vacation time, or sick leave are not counted in figuring overtime hours.
For example, if an employee works for 12 hours on a Monday but only 4 hours on Wednesday, and the total hours for the week do not exceed 48, that individual is not entitled to overtime pay.
Repercussions for Noncompliance
The penalties for failure to comply with these rules are substantial, as non-exempt employees who do not properly receive overtime pay may have a legal claim against their employers. The amount recoverable can be up to the full amount of overtime compensation, plus an additional equal amount for liquidated damages, and payment of all legal fees and costs associated with bringing the legal claim. The State of Minnesota can also assess penalties against the employer for its failure to comply.
Legal Guidance You Can Rely On
At Bernick Lifson, we understand that employment is a large part of any functioning business and the lives of its employees. When relevant legal standards regarding overtime pay under the Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act are not followed, it can have a major effect on a business and its employees.
Please give me a call today to discuss your employment issues, including the application of overtime rules under the Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act.
Drew L. McNeill regularly counsels clients on employment issues from drafting employment policies to severance agreements as well as representing clients in a wide range of commercial litigation matters.