Anderson v. Phoenix Health Care, Inc., 2011 WL 5554518 (App. Div., Nov. 16, 2011) – The Appellate Division recently dismissed claims by a putative class of registered nurses – who were paid on an hourly basis – seeking overtime compensation under the NJ Wage and Hour Law. The court held that even though the Law’s regulations do not expressly exempt professionals paid on an hourly basis, the “longstanding interpretation” of the state’s Division of Wage and Hour Compliance is that the wage and hour law is not intended to require overtime to such employees when they are paid at least the weekly minimum referred to in N.J.A.C. 12:56-7.3(a)(5).
Notably, N.J.A.C. 12:56-7.3 was superseded on August 15, 2011 by new regulations that mirror the federal regulations under the Fair Labor and Standards Act (FLSA). In order for a registered nurse to be exempt under the FLSA, the registered nurse must be paid on a salary basis. The court expressly did not determine whether registered nurses paid on an hourly basis will continue to be found exempt under the newly adopted regulations.