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Overtime Bonus Lawsuits

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Seattle, WAAs far as employment lawsuits go, overtime bonus lawsuits could be catching up with wage lawsuits and gender discrimination lawsuits in number of claims filed. Overtime rate violations lawsuits, in which plaintiffs allege their overtime pay was not properly calculated, are filed when employers fail to include non-discretionary bonuses when determining overtime pay.

Employees who receive non-discretionary bonuses as part of their job must have that amount included in any calculation of overtime pay. This means that each pay period, the rate of overtime pay must be recalculated if any non-discretionary bonuses were given. Many employees do not realize this should be included in their pay and simply accept one-and-one-half times their regular rate of pay as overtime pay. If they received non-discretionary bonuses, however, those should also be included in the overtime pay.

Overtime bonus violation lawsuits can be filed to obtain wages owed to employees. Although the initial amounts might seem small—factored into overtime wages, they might work out to only a dollar or two an hour—over the course of a few years, those dollars can add up. They can also add up when individual employees who are not paid proper overtime wages join forces to ensure everyone is fairly paid for their extra hours worked. Furthermore, companies that violate overtime laws could be forced to pay fines and penalties.

In the news more frequently than overtime bonus lawsuits are another form of employment lawsuit, gender discrimination lawsuits. Costco recently lost its bid to have a gender discrimination lawsuit thrown out of court. The lawsuit, filed in 2004, involves approximately 700 women who were denied jobs as warehouse manager and assistant manager, according to The Seattle Times (09/25/12). Plaintiffs allege the company's practice of not posting the positions or descriptions of the job duties is discriminatory.

The lawsuit has now been certified a class action. Costco has denied the claim. The lawsuit is Ellis v. Costco, 07-15838.

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