My colleague Nancy Yaffe has written several posts (like this one) about the complications in calculating overtime for employees who are paid at different rates or receive certain bonus, commission, or incentive payments. You see, overtime in California (and under federal law) isn’t just based on an employee’s base hourly rate. That would be too easy. To calculate the regular rate of pay, you have to factor in the various forms of compensation the employee receives. Failure to do so results in employees being underpaid and employers being exposed to costly litigation.
Today’s Employment Law 360 (subscription required) reports on a newly filed complaint against Anheuser-Busch that claims (among other things) that employees “received various forms of non-cash compensation, such as discounted and/or free beer” and Anheuser-Busch failed to include these in their calculations of regular rate of pay. You can read the complaint here. Over the years, I’ve heard a great many complaints from employees. But this is the first I’ve heard of employees complaining about free beer.
There are two main takeaways here. First, some employees will complain no matter what you do. Second, there’s no time like the present to make sure that you’re doing your regular rate of pay calculations correctly.