• Kate July 9, 2010 at 11:46 am

    Don’t really get the last sentence. While the employer may have caused a delay in forcing him to choose, he still would have had to do so.

    • admin July 9, 2010 at 9:10 am

      Hi Kate, Well, not necessarily. And, in this instance, the issue is that the town basically condoned the situation for several years–so based on that precedent, so to speak, he shouldn't have to choose, now should he? There was apparently no foul play or hidden agenda or deception Meskus' behavior either–in fact, it sounds like he almost went out of his way to cover his bases and be on the up and up about the situation–never being told "no can do" by the town.

  • RutherfordB Hayes July 9, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    Meskus has two jobs. In one of them he is exempt from payment of overtime (Building Commissioner). In the other job he is entitled–in fact, required–to be paid at overtime rates whenever he works more than 40 hours in a given 7-day period (work week). BOTH EMPLOYMENTS ARE FOR THE SAME EMPLOYER (the Town). Here's where Mr. Meskus' FLSA case gets weird. Employees (typically part-time) who work a pair of non-exempt jobs ***for the same employer*** are entitled to have their hours from both jobs aggregated for the purpose of determining whether or not they have worked more than 40 total hours each work week– and are therefore eligible to be paid OT rates for their excess hours that week. A typical case might be food service workers who split their (non-exempt) hours between two jobs at two separate franchise restaurants, both of which happen to be owned by the same individual and located in different parts of town. The purpose of this U.S. Dept. of Labor hours-aggregation rule is to prevent employers from taking advantage by simply splitting jobs into two parts and never paying OT on either part. Meskus' is the only case of which I am aware, however, in which the employee works one exempt and one non-exempt job simultaneously for the same employer. It might be a novelty at trial. But technically speaking, let's say Mr. Meskus were to work forty hours in a given work week, Monday through Friday, at his Building Comm. job, plus another four hours fighting a fire on Saturday. Technically he should be able to claim all four of the Saturday hours as $36/hr overtime, instead of his official straight-time rate of $24/hr. Overtime arises because he has already worked 40 hours that week for his employer, fully satisfying the straight-time requirement, albeit doing so in an exempt capacity. All of the subsequent hours he works then become hours worked beyond 40 in that week. His hours beyond 40, i.e. his Saturday hours spent fighting the fire, ought then to be compensable as OT. Just a thought (and BTW I'm not an attorney and I don't even pretend to be one on YouTube).

    • admin July 11, 2010 at 2:50 am

      Hi RBH, Thanks for your comment on this Charlton MA employment situation–you raise a good point. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out–and, hey, there may just be an opportunity for you to play an attorney on YouTube! Seriously, sounds to me like the town/selectmen up there have themselves in a bit of a pickle or at least with some egg on their faces–and it's just a shame that Meskus is caught in the middle of it–if for no other reason than from all accounts so far, he's been nothing less than completely transparent about his situation.

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