A hostess that worked in the press box for the Indianapolis Colts alleges that she was underpaid for her job duties and is now taking her case to the Federal District Court in Indianapolis. The hostess and a number of her co-employees were paid only $40 for an eight hour workday. Federally mandated minimum wage laws indicate that she should have been paid at least $7.75 per hour.
Such acts as the federal minimum wage were put into effect to prevent abuses by employers for not paying employees their fair share. However, because of the complexity of the laws and because of differing definitions of “professional” versus “hourly” workers when it comes to paying salaries, employers may attempt to hide behind the ambiguities in such legislation in order to pay less money in wages. Often someone labeled as a salaried employee should really be classified as an hourly salary. Certain employers mislabel their employees in order to avoid paying overtime wages for employees working more hours than 40 hours per week.
This situation involving the hostess may turn into a class action suit. It is possible that a number of hostesses, performing the same duties as the hostess working for the Colts, might not realize that they are being underpaid.
It is alleged that the Colts’ football team failed to record the hours of the hostess. Without accurate record keeping, the wages were instead paid “under the table.” Thus a number of actions have been alleged showing that the Colts were in violation of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. Such employers must be kept accountable for their actions and for keeping appropriate records. This would at least enable others to judge whether employers are treating their employees fairly.
Source: Workforce, “Former Press Box Hostess Sues Indianapolis Colts over Pay, Work Hours,” by Matt Dunning, Oct 12, 2011