Higgins v. Bayada Home Health Care Inc, No. 21-3286 (3d Cir. 2023)Annotate this Case
Bayada employees are paid extra for exceeding their weekly productivity minimums. If they fail to meet those minimums, Bayada withdraws from their available accumulated paid time off (PTO) to supplement the difference between the points they were expected to earn and what they actually earned. Bayada does not deduct from an employee’s guaranteed base salary when the employee lacks sufficient PTO to cover a productivity point deficit. The plaintiffs filed a collective action and putative class action alleging that the deductions effectively reduced their salary and violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. 201, and state employment laws; they claimed that PTO qualified as salary under the FLSA and its related regulations.
The Third Circuit affirmed summary judgment in favor of Bayada. As a matter of first impression, the court held based on the plain meaning of the regulatory language promulgated under the FLSA, that PTO is not part of an employee’s salary. The FLSA prohibits an actual, improper deduction from an employee’s salary. Bayada did not reduce the guaranteed base pay of any of the plaintiffs.