Connecticut Overtime Rules

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The Regular Rate of Pay

            Under Connecticut law the “regular rate,"  which is used to calculate the overtime rate, shall include all remuneration for employment paid to, or on behalf of, the employee, but shall not include:

-Gifts, including payments at Christmas time or on other special occasions;

-Rewards for service, which are not measured by or dependent on hours worked, production, or efficiency;

-Payments made for occasional periods when no work is performed due to vacation, holiday, illness, failure of the employer to provide sufficient work, or other similar cause;

-Payments for traveling expenses, or other expenses, incurred by an employee in the furtherance of the employer's interests and properly reimbursable by the employer;

-Other payments that are not made as compensation for the employee's hours of employment;

-Sums paid in recognition of services performed during a given period if; (i) the employer retains complete discretion over whether the payment will be made, and the amount of any such payment, and the decision is made at or near the end of the period, and is not made pursuant to any prior contract, agreement or promise causing the employee to expect such payments regularly; or (ii) the payments are made pursuant to a bona fide profit-sharing plan, or trust, or bona fide thrift or savings plan, meeting the approval of the Labor Commissioner.

Further clarifying this aspect of the law, the Connecticut Supreme Court held that for a bonus to be considered “wages” it must be non-discretionary in nature, and must be linked solely to the ascertainable efforts of the particular employee. Conversely, when a payment is discretionary, or based on factors other than the particular employee’s efforts, such as a general profit sharing plan, it falls outside the law’s “wage” definition. Weems v. Citigroup, 289 Conn. 769 (2008);  

-Contributions irrevocably made by an employer to a trustee or third person pursuant to a bona fide plan for providing old-age, retirement, life, accident or health insurance, or similar benefits for employees;

-Extra compensation provided by a premium rate paid for certain hours worked by the employee in any day or workweek because such hours are hours worked in excess of eight in a day, or 40 in a week, or in excess of the employee's normal working hours or regular working hours;

-Extra compensation provided by a premium rate paid for work by the employee on Saturdays, Sundays, holidays or regular days of rest, or on the sixth or seventh day of the workweek, where such premium rate is not less than one and one-half times the rate established for like work performed in non-overtime hours on other days; or

-Extra compensation provided by a premium rate paid to the employee, in pursuance of an applicable employment contract or collective-bargaining agreement, for work outside of the hours established by the contract or agreement as the basic, normal or regular workday.

Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-76b(1).

 

Occupations not Eligible for Overtime under Connecticut Law

            Aside from the exceptions created by federal law and covered in the federal section of these materials, the following occupations are specifically excluded from the Connecticut overtime requirements. However, employers must pay overtime to these classifications if otherwise required by federal law.

-Any inside salesperson whose sole duty is to sell a product or service (1) whose regular rate of pay is in excess of two times the minimum hourly rate; and (2) more than half of the employee’s total compensation for a representative period, being not less than one month, represents commissions on goods or services; and (3) who does not work more than fifty-four hours during a work week of seven consecutive calendar days. In determining the proportion of compensation representing commissions, all earnings resulting from the application of a bona fide commission rate shall be deemed commissions on goods or services without regard to whether the computed commissions exceed the draw or guarantee;

-Any person employed as a taxicab driver by any employer engaged in the business of operating a taxicab, if such driver is paid forty per cent or more of the fares recorded on the meter of the taxicab operated by him;

-Any person employed in the capacity of a household delivery route salesman engaged in delivering milk or bakery products to consumers, and who is paid on a commission basis;

-Any salesman primarily engaged in selling automobiles. For the purposes of this subsection, "salesman" includes any person employed by a licensed new car dealer (1) whose primary duty is to sell maintenance and repair services, (2) whose regular rate of pay is in excess of two times the minimum hourly rate, (3) more than half of whose compensation for a representative period, being not less than one month, represents commissions on goods or services, and (4) who does not work more than fifty-four hours during a work week of seven consecutive days. In determining the proportion of compensation representing commissions, all earnings resulting from the application of a bona fide commission rate shall be deemed commissions on goods or services without regard to whether the computed commissions exceed the draw or guarantee;

-Any person employed in agriculture;

-Any permanent paid members of the uniformed police force of municipalities and permanent paid members of the uniformed firefighters of municipalities;

-Any person employed as a firefighter by a private nonprofit corporation which on May 24, 1984, had a valid contract with any municipality to extinguish fires and protect its inhabitants from loss by fire;

-Any person, except a person paid on an hourly basis, employed as a beer delivery truck driver by a licensed distributor, as defined by section 12-433; or

-Any mortgage loan originator, who is a highly compensated employee, provided this exception shall not apply to an individual who performs the functions of a mortgage loan originator solely from the office of such mortgage loan originator's employer. For purposes of this subsection, an office in the mortgage loan originator's home shall not be considered the office of such mortgage loan originator's employer.

Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-76i.

 

Computing overtime 

            Employers must pay covered employees time and one-half the employee’s regular rate for all hours worked in excess of forty (40) in any workweek. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-76c.

            The employer may not average the employee’s hours over two or more weeks, except for hospital employees, under the following conditions:

-For hospital employees covered by an agreement or understanding arrived at between the employer and the employee before the performance of the work, a work period of fourteen (14) consecutive days is accepted in lieu of the workweek of seven (7) consecutive days for purposes of overtime computation, if the employee is paid time and one-half their regular rate for all time worked in excess of eight (8) hours in any workday and in excess of eighty (80) hours in such fourteen (14) day period. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-76h.

 

Special Rule for Delivery Drivers and Sales Merchandisers

            The overtime rate for non-exempt delivery drivers or sales merchandisers who are paid on a base salary and commission basis is one-fortieth (1/40) of the employee’s weekly pay. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-76b(1).

 

Fluctuating Workweek

            In lieu of paying one and one-half times an employee’s regular rate for all hours worked in excess of forty (40) in a workweek, an employer can use the fluctuating workweek method, if the following conditions are met.

-The employee is employed pursuant to a bona fide individual contract, or pursuant to an agreement made as a result of collective bargaining by representatives of employees;

-The duties of such employee necessitates irregular hours of work;

-The contract or agreement specifies a regular rate of pay of not less than the minimum hourly rate, and compensation of not less than one and one-half times such rate for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours per workweek; and

-The contract or agreement provides a weekly guaranty of pay for not more than sixty hours based on the rates agreed to.

Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-76e.

Practical Example:

If the employee is paid $800/week regardless of the number of hours worked he would earn a regular rate of

 -$40/hr if he works 20 hours

-$20/hr if he works 40 hours

-$16/hr if he works 50 hours

-$13.33/hr if he works 60 hours

 Under these scenarios he would be paid $800 for working 20 hours and 40 hours

 At 50 hours he would get $800 plus another $8 times 10 hours or $880 for working 50 hours

 At 60 hours he would get $800 plus another $6.67 times 20 hours or $933.40 for working 60 hours

 In effect the OT premium decreases as the number of hours over 40 increases, and the pay per hour decreases as the number of hours worked increases. 

            Because the Connecticut Supreme Court has held there is a rebuttable presumption that the fixed-salary method of calculating overtime applies, Connecticut employers using the fluctuating workweek method have the burden of showing all elements required for its use have been satisfied. Stokes v. Norwich Taxi, LLC, 289 Conn. 465, 481 (2008).

 

Piece rates

            Employers may enter into an agreement with a piece work employee, prior to the performance of the work, which permits the employer to pay overtime by computing the overtime rate at one and one-half times the straight time piece rate, provided the straight time rate is at least equal to the established minimum wage, and overtime is paid based on all forms of remuneration includable in the overtime calculation. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-76f.

 

Two or more kinds of work

            In the case of an employee performing two or more kinds of work for which different hourly or piece rates have been established, overtime must be computed at rates not less than one and one-half times the straight time rate applicable to the same work when performed during non-overtime hours, provided the straight time rate is at least equal to the established minimum wage, and overtime is paid based on all forms of remuneration includable in the overtime calculation. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-76f.

 

Premium Pay 

            When an employee has already received premium payments in the instances listed below, the employer need not count the premium pay in calculating the regular rate, and may count the premium pay against any overtime pay obligation:

-Extra compensation provided by a premium rate paid for certain hours worked by the employee in any day or workweek because such hours are hours worked in excess of eight in a day, or 40 in a week, or in excess of the employee's normal working hours, or regular working hours;

-Extra compensation provided by a premium rate paid for work by the employee on Saturdays, Sundays, holidays or regular days of rest, or on the sixth or seventh day of the workweek, where such premium rate is not less than one and one-half times the rate established for like work performed in non-overtime hours on other days; or

-Extra compensation provided by a premium rate paid to the employee, in pursuance of an applicable employment contract or collective-bargaining agreement, for work outside of the hours established by the contract or agreement as the basic, normal, or regular workday.

Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-76b(1).

 

Compensatory Time in Lieu of Overtime Payments

            Any municipality may by contract agree with municipal employees to provide overtime compensation in the form of compensatory time, in lieu of overtime pay, at a rate not less than one and one-half hours of compensatory time for each hour worked in excess of forty (40) hours in a workweek. A municipality providing compensatory time shall comply with all applicable provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 7-460c.

For more information contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 860-216-1965

www.schaffer-law.com

 


 

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