Offset as Defense to FLSA Suit May Mitigate Unpaid Wage Claims

Hospitality Law

Jeffrey Ruzal, a Senior Counsel in the Labor and Employment practice, in the New York office, wrote an article titled "Offset as Defense to FLSA Suit May Mitigate Unpaid Wage Claims."

Following is an excerpt:

A federal district court in Michigan recently preserved for trial the question of whether a defendant employer may mitigate its back wage liability by offsetting paid break time, which would effectively extinguish plaintiff employ­ees' claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

In Hayes, et al., v.Greektown Casino, LLC, et al., No. 12-1552 (E.D. Mich. 03/31/14), a group of current and former security officers who were employed by Greektown Casino alleged that the their employer violated the FLSA by failing to compensate them for all hours worked. The security officers claimed that, from at least 2008 through 2012, the casino required them to attend mandatory, pre-shift roll call, for which they were not compensated. The employees alleged that the roll call lasted approximately 15 minutes, and that security officers also spent around 10 minutes before and after each shift collecting equipment necessary to perform their job and returning it to the proper location, checking-in and -out equipment, such as radios, keys and security wands.