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Case Number: 2022 CT 17
Court: Supreme Court of Vermont on appeal from the Superior Court, Chittenden Unit, Civil Division (Chittenden County)
Defendant's Attorney: Gary L. Franklin
Description: Burlington, Vermont employment law lawyer represented Plaintiff, who sued Defendant on a Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) violation theory.
Employee Christie Mitchell appeals a summary judgment order
in favor of NBT Bank, N.A. regarding its policy of deducting her overtime compensation from her
commissions so that she was never paid more than gross commissions regardless of how many
hours she worked in a week. She maintains that the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
requires the bank to pay her entire gross commissions plus overtime wages.
* * *
In 2017, the bank
paid this draw at $10 per hour, with an overtime rate of $15 per hour ($10 in straight-time pay and
$5 in overtime premium pay). At the end of each four-week period, the bank calculated
employee’s “regular rate” for the weeks she reported overtime hours. It calculated this rate by
dividing her pro rata gross commission by the total hours worked during the week. The bank
multiplied the difference between the regular rate and the draw rate by one-half to determine the
additional overtime premium. The bank then deducted her draw wages and her additional overtime
premium from gross commission and paid her the remaining balance. If her gross commission did
not exceed her draw and additional overtime premium, employee kept the draw and the negative
balance was carried over to the next period when it was deducted accordingly.1 As a result,
employee received all her gross commissions but never more.
Outcome: Because the FLSA contains no such requirement, we affirm.