The Department of Labor announced new rules today that better define what perks and benefits may be excluded from the regular rate of pay when calculating overtime. The DOL summarized what may be excluded from the regular rate as follows:
- the cost of providing certain parking benefits, wellness programs, onsite specialist treatment, gym access and fitness classes, employee discounts on retail goods and services, certain tuition benefits (whether paid to an employee, an education provider, or a student-loan program), and adoption assistance;
- payments for unused paid leave, including paid sick leave or paid time off;
- payments of certain penalties required under state and local scheduling laws;
- reimbursed expenses including cellphone plans, credentialing exam fees, organization membership dues, and travel, even if not incurred “solely” for the employer’s benefit; and clarifies that reimbursements that do not exceed the maximum travel reimbursement under the Federal Travel Regulation System or the optional IRS substantiation amounts for travel expenses are per se “reasonable payments”;
- certain sign-on bonuses and certain longevity bonuses;
- the cost of office coffee and snacks to employees as gifts;
- discretionary bonuses, by clarifying that the label given a bonus does not determine whether it is discretionary and providing additional examples and;
- contributions to benefit plans for accident, unemployment, legal services, or other events that could cause future financial hardship or expense.
Most other non-discretionary payments must be included in the regular rate for purposes of calculating overtime. If you have any questions about how to properly calculate the regular rate of pay – and what must be included in that calculation – please give us a call. You can reach your favorite BurnsBarton lawyer at 602.753.4500.