According to court documents found online, the lawsuit (case no. BC489001 in Los Angeles County Superior Court) alleges Wellpoint regularly offered a non-discretionary bonus program in which employees received bonus compensation for achieving performance goals set out by Wellpoint. Those non-discretionary bonuses, however, were reportedly not included when Wellpoint calculated overtime pay.
"[Wellpoint] systematically, unlawfully and unilaterally failed to accurately calculate wages for overtime hours worked by the plaintiff and other members of the California class in order to avoid paying these employees the correct overtime compensation," the lawsuit alleges. "As a result, the plaintiff and other members of the California class forfeited wages due them for regularly working overtime without compensation at the correct overtime rates." Furthermore, plaintiffs allege Wellpoint purposefully avoided paying the correct overtime compensation so they could profit from the unpaid overtime wages.
READ MORE CALIFORNIA BONUS VIOLATION LEGAL NEWS
Under California law, non-discretionary bonuses must be included in overtime pay calculations if the bonus is earned in the same pay period that the overtime is worked. When employees work overtime, their hourly overtime pay must include not only one-and-a-half times their regular rate of pay, but also non-discretionary bonuses. This means that their overtime pay could vary from pay period to pay period, depending on what bonuses they earn. And although the amount at issue could be small from one paycheck to the next, over the course of a few years and when including a company's entire workforce, the amount owed can add up.