Ninth Circuit Upholds FLSA OT Plan

Ponoma Valley Hospital pays nurses one rate for 12 hour shifts, and a higher rate for eight hour shifts. The nurses requested the 12-hour shifts. To accommodate them, the hospital calculated how much it would have to pay to neutralize the payroll effect of the 12-hour shift.

An employee claimed that the differing rates were a subterfuge to avoid paying overtime under the federal FLSA.

The Ninth Circuit held that it is lawful to pay different rates for different shifts. And it is OK to lower a base rate to minimize paying overtime, as long as it is above minimum wage.
The opinion does not address California wage and hour law.

The case is Parth v. Pomona Valley Hospital and the opinion is here.