Redefining Workweek to Minimize Overtime

A recent case from the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals held that a company shifting its workweek from a typical Sunday-to-Saturday week to a Tuesday-to-Monday workweek to reduce overtime was okay under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The natural gas drilling company’s employees worked the same Tuesday-to-Monday seven-day shift, but the redefinition eliminated a substantial amount of overtime by splitting the seven-day shift into two separate workweeks.

The court said the shift didn’t violate the FLSA’s rule prohibiting shifting workweeks to “evade” the FLSA’s overtime requirements, saying there was no clear standard on what “evading” means in this context.

The company admitted it shifted the workweek to reduce overtime exposure, but that wasn’t enough for the court to find it “evaded” the overtime requirements. It still paid for all overtime its employees worked.

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