Massachusetts Judge Rejects Klinghoffer Rule in a Non-Overtime Off-the-Clock Case

(EMAILWIRE.COM, October 14, 2011 ) Orlando, Florida The wage and hour attorneys at Morgan and Morgan are applauding a Massachusetts federal judges decision that rejects the Klinghoffer Rule and expansively interprets employers minimum wage obligations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). In Norceide v. Cambridge Health Alliance, Judge Nancy Gertner ignored the Klinghoffer Rule, which provides for the use of a weekly-average method to establish whether an employees minimum wage rights have been violated, and found that a group of hospital employees who were allegedly discouraged from seeking compensation for certain off the clock work can pursue a class action under the FLSA.

Under the Klinghoffer Rule, an employee who is denied payment for certain hours worked will not have a claim under the FLSA, as long as their total weekly earnings divided by the number of hours actually worked in that week amounts to an hourly rate which does not fall beneath the minimum wage threshold. In other words, if an employee is paid for 37 hours of work at $12 an hour, earning $444 for the week, but claims that they actually worked for 38 hours, the FLSA has not been violated as the employees average hourly wage for that week is $11.68, which exceeds the federal minimum wage. The defendants in Norceide v. Cambridge Health Alliance argued that, under the Klinghoffer Rule, the hospital employees, who allege that they routinely worked before and after their shifts and during meal breaks, had no redress. Judge Gertner disagreed, however, stating that the plaintiffs had a claim for a minimum wage violation, based on their allegations that they were intentionally compensated at a rate of $0 per unrecorded hour of work.

In rejecting the Klinghoffer rule, which has been acknowledged by appellate courts across the country for nearly 50 years, Judge Gertners decision could potentially make it easier for employees to prevail in minimum wage claims. If you suspect your minimum wage or overtime rights have been violated, you may have legal recourse to seek compensation for back pay, among other damages. To find out if you have a claim under the FLSA, visit today for a free consultation. The wage and hour lawyers at Morgan and Morgan are providing this online case review at no cost and with no obligation.

About Morgan and Morgan

The employment law division at Morgan and Morgan is dedicated to protecting the rights afforded to employees under state and federal labor laws. The attorneys within this department handle cases involving unpaid overtime, minimum wage violations, sexual harassment and workplace discrimination. If you suspect your employment rights have been violated, visit or today for a free case evaluation and information on your legal rights.

Richard Celler

Source: EmailWire.Com
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