23-cent bonus adds up to one big payroll headache

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in Office Management,Payroll Management

If an employer retains complete control over whether to pay a bonus and the amount of the bonus, then it can be excluded from an employee’s regular rate as a discretionary bonus. But both parts of this test count equally.

Recently, a federal trial court ruled that bonuses that always equaled $50 failed the second part of the test and had to be included in employees’ regular rates. Worse: The court allowed the case to proceed as a class action, and refused to dismiss California state law claims. (Provine v. Office Depot, Inc., No. C 11-00903 SI, N.D. Calif., 2012)

No applause for the Bravo program

Under a company’s employee incentive program, managers recognized outstanding employees with “Bravo” cards, which went into a hopper. Every month a name was drawn and the winner received $50. An employee won twice, several months apart. For those two months, he worked 19 minutes of overtime.

The employee quit and sued in federal cou...(register to read more)

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