Do you have a system that allows all employees in the same job category an equal shot at earning overtime pay? If not, consider setting up a fair system for distributing that extra work. Otherwise, you may find yourself facing a discrimination lawsuit.
Lots of bias lawsuits involve overtime disputes—especially these days. If the employee can show that others outside his protected class received more overtime opportunities, he may have a viable case.
You can defeat such cases by proving that everyone got an equal chance to earn overtime.
Recent case: Johnny Newbill, who is black, worked for a gas company. He sued, claiming his employer didn’t let him work much overtime because of his race. He argued that white co-workers got more OT hours.
It turned out that wasn’t true.
The utility company showed the court that Newbill got just as many overtime hours as his white co-workers. Plus, that overtime helped Newbill earn considerably more each year than he had before.
The court said Newbill’s overtime accelerated just as fast as everyone else’s. It dismissed his case. (Newbill v. Washington Gas Light, No. 09-1500, 4th Cir., 2010)
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