Human Resources News & Insights

When free beer and the FLSA meet

Receiving free beer was reason enough for this former employee to file a wage-and-hour complaint. 

A former non-exempt employee who worked for Anheuser-Busch in California recently filed a complaint against the company under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

In his complaint, the staffer noted that he received various forms of non-cash, incentive compensation — including free or discounted beer.

The problem, according to the worker: The company failed to include the value of the beer — which was termed “incentive pay” — when determining his regular rate of pay. That, in turn, led the plaintiff to be underpaid in his overtime compensation, he said.

In addition to his beer-related complaint, the former staffer also claimed, according to Mark Anstoetter and Madeleine McDonough, that the “company failed to timely provide a final paycheck when employees were discharged or quit. According to the complaint, the plaintiff was terminated during the year preceding the complaint’s filing while he was on a leave of absence.”

We’ll keep you afloat of the situation.

The case is Controulis v. Anheuser-Busch, LLC (courtesy of California Employment Law).

Pour yourself a glass before that meeting

While we’re on the topic of beer and the workplace, yet another study has come out (somewhat) in favor of drinking on the job.

Now, temper that enthusiasm — no one’s suggesting a return to the three-martini lunch (unfortunately), nor is any business expert encouraging keggers in the parking lot.

But just as a study last summer found, so has new research noted that alcohol consumption can be beneficial in problem solving.

Intoxicated individuals solved more problems in less time than non-intoxicated people during one study, according to three researchers’ new study “Uncorking the Muse: Alcohol Intoxication Facilitates Creative Problem Solving.” And, whether for better or worse, those sudsy participants were also more likely to view their solutions as a result of sudden insight.

Our question: Where do we sign up for these studies?

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