Conner v. Cleveland County, No. 19-2012 (4th Cir. 2022)Annotate this Case
Conner sued her employer, EMS, under the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. 201–219, alleging that she was underpaid for non-overtime hours worked during weeks in which she also worked overtime. To determine the overtime rate for 24 on/48 off EMS personnel, the employee’s regular hourly pay rate was determined by dividing her annual salary by 2,928 hours (based on the 24 on/48 off schedule; the overtime rate was the resultant hourly rate multiplied by 1.5. To calculate a “revised semi-monthly rate,” the hourly rate was multiplied by 2,080 (40 non-overtime hours per week for 52 weeks), then divided by 24. When an employee worked overtime during a particular pay period, EMS added the overtime amount to the revised semimonthly wages. Conner alleged that this “revised semi-monthly rate” unlawfully paid her regular wages using overtime compensation. She claims her annual salary established by ordinance represents her compensation for regular wages and that for each semimonthly pay period, she should be paid regular wages (her salary divided by 24) plus any overtime.
The Fourth Circuit reversed the dismissal of the case, holding that the Act permits an action for “gap time” that is not directly covered by its overtime or minimum wage provisions. The complaint must plausibly allege that the employee worked overtime in at least one week and was not paid all straight-time wages due under an employment agreement or statute. The employee need not “identify a particular week.”