Category Archives: Wage & Hour

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Just A Tip: DOL One Step Closer To Rescinding Tip Pooling Regulation

Good news for restaurant employers: the regulation that says tips belong to the employee – regardless of whether the employer takes the tip credit or pays the full minimum wage — may soon be history. Last week, the Department of Labor took another step toward rescinding the 2011 regulation by submitting a proposed rule to the Office of Management and … Continue Reading

Disasters and the Workforce: Navigating Stormy Waters

Thousands of Florida coastal residents were ordered to evacuate last week in anticipation of Hurricane Irma, even as their employers remained open. A pizza restaurant manager made headlines when he threatened action against employees who chose to miss shifts to evacuate. Other employers instructed employees not to report and planned to close their offices part of this week. What are … Continue Reading

Predictive Scheduling and the Fight for a “Fair Workweek”: What Employers Need to Know

Retailers and fast food companies in particular should be aware of the growing push for “fair workweek” legislation at the city, state, and federal levels. In just the past few years, over a dozen states and cities have considered enacting such laws, which are designed to ensure that employees are given consistent, predictable schedules. (They have therefore also been termed … Continue Reading

DOL Drops New Salary Regulation

The Department of Labor is abandoning the new salary regulation that set a  $47,476 threshold salary for employees to be exempt from overtime and intends to go back to the drawing board, based on a brief filed by the DOL on June 30, 2017.

The regulation, which more than doubled the current salary threshold, would have made an estimated 4 … Continue Reading

DOL: “Joint Employer” and “Independent Contractor” Guidance Out and Wage and Hour Opinion Letters In

On the heels of withdrawing published interpretations of the concepts of “joint employer” and “independent contractor,” the Secretary of Labor announced yesterday that it will reinstate the issuance of opinion letters. Opinion letters are official, written opinions by the Wage and Hour Division that explain how a law applies to specific sets of facts. In 2010, the Obama administration discontinued … Continue Reading

Bill Permitting “Comp Time” in Lieu of Overtime Heads to Senate

A Republican proposal to allow private employers to offer employees compensatory time off in lieu of paying overtime at timeandahalf their regular rate has been approved by the U.S. House of Representatives and next moves to the Senate for consideration. The “Working Families Flexibility Act of 2017’’ (H.R. 1180) would amend the Fair Labor Continue Reading

New, Even Broader, Joint Employer Test Adopted

Employers may think the concept of joint employer being pushed by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is overly broad, but a recent decision by a federal appellate court in Richmond, Virginia adopts the most expansive definition yet. Last month the federal appellate court pronounced that two entities or individuals should be considered a joint employer of the same worker … Continue Reading

State and Local Governments: Battling for Control of Workplace Laws

While local governments are increasingly seeking to regulate the workplace, many states are taking aggressive action to counter these efforts. Over the past several years, more than 20 states have enacted preemption laws which prevent such localities from increasing the minimum wage, expanding anti-discrimination protections, requiring employers to provide paid sick leave, and regulating employee meal breaks and rest periods. … Continue Reading

States May Step Into Void Created by Demise of DOL’s Overtime Rule

Since the Department of Labor announced the new overtime rule last May, we have been closely following its rocky implementation in a series of posts. Presently, the rule – which would render an estimated 4 million workers eligible for overtime by effectively doubling the salary threshold for exempt employees to $47,476 – remains stayed by a federal court in … Continue Reading

Employer Exposure Increases: Emotional Distress Damages in FLSA Cases

The number of federal courts allowing plaintiffs to recover emotional distress damages in Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) retaliation cases is expanding, with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals last month joining two other circuits that have permitted such damages. The case Pineda v. JTCH Apartments, L.L.C. (5th Circuit December 19, 2016), involved maintenance employee Santiago Pineda, who lived … Continue Reading

Minimum Wages Climb

Workers will now receive higher minimum wages mandated by state law in 19 states, effective this month. Florida’s minimum wage increased to $8.10 an hour from $8.05 an hour, effective January 1. Tipped employees in Florida are now entitled to receive a minimum of $5.08 an hour. Workers in Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, … Continue Reading

The New Salary Regulations: The Saga Continues

While employers took solace from the Nov. 22 nationwide preliminary injunction which blocked implementation of a controversial rule increasing the salary threshold for employees to be exempt from overtime, the battle is not over. The Department of Labor filed its notice of appeal December 1, the same day the new salary regulations were to take effect.… Continue Reading

Employers Can Be Thankful: New Salary Regulation Delayed

Providing employers with a piece of good news, a Texas court has issued a nationwide preliminary injunction that delays the December 1 implementation of the controversial final rule that increased the salary level for exempt employees to $47,476, more than double what it had been. The court found that the 21 states challenging the rule showed both that they were … Continue Reading

Hope for Employers: Court Says Home Health Aides Can’t Bring Collective Action

Courts have been quick to allow one employee claiming to be due overtime to sue on behalf of others in the same job category by certifying a collective action, allowing that employee to represent the class and requiring the employer to provide contact information for others in the same job category.  However, in a case with potentially far reaching implications … Continue Reading

Long-Awaited New Overtime Rule Issued

Beginning December 1, 2016 employers will have to pay “white collar” workers a salary of $47,476 ($912 a week) and ensure that they meet certain job duties tests established by law or else pay them overtime, under new regulations issued this week by the U.S. Department of Labor. Bonuses and commissions can count toward as much as 10 percent of … Continue Reading

New York State Increases Minimum Wage and Enacts Paid Family Leave

For employers with employees in New York State, the cost of doing business in the state is going to go up due to recent legislation.  New York State recently passed the following two important changes in the law which will impact all employees in the state: (a) an incremental increase in the minimum wage, and (b) paid family leave.… Continue Reading

Representative Evidence May Or May Not Be Sufficient

A recent U.S. Supreme Court case holding that representative evidence can be used in class/collective actions to the same extent that it could be used in an individual action may not have the broad application hoped for by the plaintiff’s bar. In Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo, the Court held it permissible for the class representatives in a wage … Continue Reading

D.C. Circuit Reinstates Home Health Care Regulations

Earlier this year, we brought news that the DOL had revised its regulations applicable to home health care workers. Those regulations, which related to domestic workers who provide “companionship services,” narrowed significantly the classes of workers who were exempt from the minimum wage and overtime protections of the FLSA by removing the ability of home health care agencies to claim … Continue Reading

FLSA: Changes Continue to Affect Employers

This past year has brought major changes to the laws affecting wage and hour issues. The Department of Labor has been particularly active this year putting out its first Administrator’s Interpretation regarding independent contractors. The Department of Labor also made a big splash with its long anticipated proposed new regulations to update the Fair Labor Standards Act’s “white collar” exemptions. … Continue Reading

Employment Law Trends for 2015

Few can quibble with the fact that 2015 has been a busy year for employment law. From historic pronouncements of the Supreme Court concerning fundamental and civil rights, to the Department of Labor’s release of guidance to curb misclassification and proposed new regulations to update the Fair Labor Standards Act’s “white collar” exemptions, to the General Counsel of the National … Continue Reading

Employers Cannot Rely on Timekeeping Policies as a Defense to FLSA Claims

An employee’s violation of timekeeping policies is not a defense to a Fair Labor Standards Act claim, if the employer knows or has reason to know that an employee underreported his hours, according to a recent decision by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, Bailey v. TitleMax of Georgia, Case No. 14-11747 (11th Cir., January 15, 2015).… Continue Reading

Home Health Care Remains Affordable: New Companionship Exemption Rules Overturned

A federal court has invalidated the U.S. Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) amended rule that would have extended minimum wage and overtime protections to nearly two million home health care workers and affected the cost and availability of those services to the millions of patients under their care. The ruling represents a significant victory for the home health care industry, though … Continue Reading

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