29 CFR 778.501 - The “split-day” plan.

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§ 778.501 The “split-day” plan.

(a) Another device designed to evade the overtime requirements of the Act was a plan known as the “Poxon” or “split-day” plan. Under this plan the normal or regular workday is artificially divided into two portions one of which is arbitrarily labeled the “straight time” portion of the day and the other the “overtime” portion. Under such a plan, an employee who would ordinarily command an hourly rate of pay well in excess of the minimum for his work is assigned a low hourly rate (often the minimum) for the first hour (or the first 2 or 4 hours) of each day. This rate is designated as the regular rate: “time and one-half” based on such rate is paid for each additional hour worked during the workday. Thus, for example, an employee is arbitrarily assigned an hourly rate of $5 per hour under a contract which provides for the payment of so-called “overtime” for all hours in excess of 4 per day. Thus, for the normal or regular 8-hour day the employee would receive $20 for the first 4 hours and $30 for the remaining 4 hours; and a total of $50 for 8 hours. (This is exactly what he would receive at the straight time rate of $6.25 per hour.) On the sixth 8-hour day the employee likewise receives $50 and the employer claims to owe no additional overtime pay under the statute since he has already compensated the employee at “overtime” rates for 20 hours of the workweek.

(b) Such a division of the normal 8-hour workday into 4 straight time hours and 4 overtime hours is purely fictitious. The employee is not paid at the rate of $5 an hour and the alleged overtime rate of $7.50 per hour is not paid for overtime work. It is not geared either to hours “in excess of the employee's normal working hours or regular working hours” (section 7(e)(5) or for work “outside of the hours established in good faith * * * as the basic, normal, or regular workday” (section 7(e) (7)) and it cannot therefore qualify as an overtime rate. The regular rate of pay of the employee in this situation is $6.25 per hour and he is owed additional overtime compensation, based on this rate, for all hours in excess of the applicable maximum hours standard. This rule was settled by the Supreme Court in the case of Walling v. Helmerich & Payne, 323 U.S. 37, and its validity has been reemphasized by the definition of the term “regular rate” in section 7(e) of the Act as amended.

[ 46 FR 7318, Jan. 23, 1981; 46 FR 33516, June 30, 1981]

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