Supreme Court makes it harder for employees to get OT | Katz Melinger PLLC
Katz Melinger PLLC
Free Initial Phone Consultation
Menu Contact
Free Initial Phone Consultation
Proactive. Pragmatic.
Committed To Obtaining Results.

Supreme Court makes it harder for employees to get OT


A recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court may limit the number of people eligible to receive overtime pay.

In early April, the Supreme Court issued an opinion involving the Fair Labor Standards Act. The FLSA is a federal law that requires employers to pay employees time and a half for all hours worked over 40 in a week. Only employees who are exempt from the FLSA are permitted to work overtime without receiving extra pay.

Court abandons long-held interpretations of overtime rules 

While the principle behind the FLSA is simple, deciding who is eligible for overtime pay can be complex. There are numerous exemptions under the FLSA, including for employees who work in managerial, administrative, and professional positions.

When an employer and employee have a dispute over whether the employee is eligible for overtime pay, courts examine the employee's specific job duties and analyze them to determine whether or not the employee falls under one or more of the FLSA's exemptions. For the past 50 years, courts have interpreted the exemptions narrowly, meaning that the courts have tended to find that employees are entitled to overtime in cases where the employees' eligibility is ambiguous. 

However, on April 2, 2018, the Supreme Court ignored decades of precedent and, in a 5-4 opinion, held that the FLSA should not be interpreted narrowly. Although the details of the case, Encino Motorcars, LLC v. Navarro, 138 S. Ct. 1134 (2018), are somewhat complex and involve the definition of what it means to work in sales, the Court's opinion has widespread implications. As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote in her dissent, "The court rejects this longstanding principle as applied to the FLSA, without even acknowledging that it unsettles more than half a century of our precedent."

Eligible for OT?

The bottom line is that the Supreme Court's decision could impact both individual and class-action lawsuits by employees seeking to be paid overtime, and will likely make it more difficult for some employees to successfully argue that they are entitled to overtime pay. Both employers and employees will have to re-examine the FLSA in light of this opinion, with help from an experienced employment lawyer.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Schedule Your Consultation Today

To begin protecting your legal rights and financial interests, schedule an initial consultation. We clearly communicate your legal options in an honest manner.

Contact Katz Melinger PLLC at 212-460-0047 or reach us by filling out the form below.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Office Address

Katz Melinger PLLC
280 Madison Avenue
Suite 600
New York, NY 10016

Phone: 212-460-0047
Fax: 212-428-6811
New York Law Office Map

Review Us

Can we help you find a topic?