Response to Reader’s Query Regarding Pyramiding of Overtime

Posted by: charlesakrugel  /   Category: Business Management / Charles Krugel / Human Capital / Human Resources / Practices   /   No Comments »
6a0120a85dcdae970b0120a86d4a36970b-piThere’s continued interest in the pyramiding of overtime issue. Here’s my prior 2 postings on the topic: 1/2/13 & 4/1/16.

Recently, I received the below request from a reader:

  • I have seen your writings on pyramiding of overtime and was wondering if you could help on this issue. We are following a bargaining unit contract and up until July 4, 2016, if we worked on the holiday it went towards our 40. Well this time, the company says since we get a negotiated rate to work the holiday they are considering it pyramiding of overtime and will not count towards are 40, any help will be appreciated. 

Here’s my response: I appreciate your reading my content & contacting me. However, & just so you understand, I represent companies. With that said, I’m still happy to answer your questions. However (it’s always “however” & “but” with lawyers!), I also need to make sure that I have no conflict of interest in answering your questions. So, either I have to know whom your employer is, or you have to refuse to tell me & maintain anonymity, & I’ll answer you in the blind.

In any instance, pyramiding isn’t illegal. It’s just something that companies need to stipulate to in “black & white” whether they permit it or not. This is where conflicts arise—because of ambiguous collective bargaining agreement (CBA) language or because of ambiguous company policy. Pyramiding is one of those doctrines that’s slipped through the cracks & hasn’t been addressed by our legislators or anyone else for that matter; and I’m not sure it needs to be addressed by them either. If you have no CBA language or company policy governing pyramiding at your workplace, then there’s at least a 51% chance that you’re entitled to max pay for all hour after 40 regardless of how that time is classified. Some of the other factors to look at include what’s the “past practice” regarding pyramiding at work?; & how have other arbitrators or judges ruled on pyramiding in your location? If there’s no “past practice” & no regional guidance or standards on pyramiding, then it’s possible that your employer can do as it pleases relative to pyramiding & overtime.
Hope this helps.

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