Law and the Workplace

Tag Archives: FLSA

DOL Withdraws Obama-Era Administrator’s Interpretations on Independent Contractors and Joint Employment

Employers across the U.S. were troubled by the sub-regulatory guidance issued by the DOL in 2015 and 2016 on independent contractors and joint employment.  Today, the DOL announced the withdrawal of that guidance (Administrator’s Interpretations No. 2015-01 (July 15, 2015, on independent contractors) and No. 2016-01 (Jan. 20, 2016, on joint employment)). As you may … Continue Reading

SCOTUS Denies Cert in Regular Rate Case; Ninth Circuit Decision Requiring Overtime on “Cash-in-Lieu” of Benefits Stands

Even the Supreme Court doesn’t want to talk about the regular rate of pay. The City of San Gabriel, California, provides a flexible benefits plan to its employees under which they receive a designated monetary amount to be used to purchase medical, vision, and dental benefits. Employees can decline to purchase medical benefits (say, because … Continue Reading

Trump DOL Presses Pause Button on Appeal of Overtime Rule Injunction

Remember the new federal overtime rule that was going to double the minimum salary for the “white collar” exemptions?  In November, a Texas district court issued a nationwide injunction preventing the rule from taking effect.  The DOL successfully petitioned the Fifth Circuit for an expedited appeal of the injunction in December, and briefing was to … Continue Reading

Texas Judge Denies DOL’s Motion to Stay District Court Overtime Litigation Pending Appeal

Earlier today Judge Amos Mazzant of the Eastern District of Texas denied the motion of the U.S. Department of Labor to stay further district court proceedings in the overtime litigation.  The DOL had asked the district court—which has already issued a preliminary injunction blocking the DOL’s new overtime rule from taking effect—to refrain from taking … Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit Joins Sister Circuits in Holding That Employees May Recover Emotional Distress Damages in FLSA Retaliation Suits

On December 19, 2016, the Fifth Circuit joined the Sixth and Seventh Circuits in holding that “employees” under the FLSA may recover emotional distress damages in FLSA retaliation actions, finding that the district court erred by refusing to instruct the jury on the availability of emotional distress damages for an employee’s retaliation claim. In so … Continue Reading

Winter Is Coming—Wage and Hour Considerations During Weather-Related Emergencies

With winter storms around the corner, it’s the right time to revisit employer rights and responsibilities during a weather-related emergency or other major disruption.  We discuss below some typical scenarios that you are likely to face during weather-related or other emergencies, and the consequences under the wage and hour laws. “Our office was closed for … Continue Reading

Recovery of Liquidated Damages Under Both FLSA and State Law Improper, Says Second Circuit

In a summary order issued on December 7, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit–in Chowdhury v. Hamza Express Food Corp., No. 15‐3142‐cv–held that an award of liquidated damages under both the Fair Labor Standards Act and the New  York Labor Law with respect to the same violation was improper: [The Labor Law] does … Continue Reading

Chicago Sees A Major Uptick in FLSA Litigation, Consistent With National Trends

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois has emerged as one of the nation’s busiest federal district courts with respect to wage-and-hour litigation.  As reported by Crain’s Chicago Business, in 2015 alone, 542 Fair Labor Standards Act actions were filed in the Northern District of Illinois.  Between 2011 and 2015, wage-and-hour actions … Continue Reading

30 Days Until New Overtime Rules Take Effect

The new overtime rules—requiring a minimum weekly salary of $913 ($47,476 annually) for most exempt executive, administrative, or professional employees—are scheduled to take effect on December 1. Remember that both overtime pay (for non-exempt employees) and the salary basis test (for exempt employees) are calculated on a workweek basis, and that each workweek–a fixed and regularly … Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit Instructs that, When Raised, Arbitrability is a Gateway Issue that Must Be Considered Prior to Conditional Certification in FLSA Collective Actions

On October 4, 2016, the Fifth Circuit in Reyna v. International Bank of Commerce instructed district courts that when the issue of arbitrability is raised in a prompt motion to compel, it should be decided at the outset of the litigation—even prior to deciding conditional certification in FLSA collective actions. Reyna builds upon the Fifth … Continue Reading

100 Days Until the New Overtime Rule Takes Effect: Is Your Company Ready?

On December 1, 2016, the annual cost of classifying most executive, administrative, or professional employees as “exempt” from the overtime rules more than doubles ($23,660 to $47,476).  Is your company ready for this change? Do you have your list of potentially affected employees? Have you compared the cost of increasing their salaries to the new … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit: Loan Underwriters Not Entitled to Overtime Pay

On March 2, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that residential loan underwriters of Huntington National Bank are administrative employees under the FLSA and therefore not entitled to overtime pay.  The primary duty of an underwriter is to decide whether or not a customer qualifies for a desired loan, relying on an initial recommendation generated by … Continue Reading

College Athletes Not University Employees, Says Federal District Court

On February 16, 2016, a federal district court in Indiana held that former athletes at the University of Pennsylvania were not university employees entitled to the protections of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  The plaintiffs—former track and field athletes at Penn—brought collective action claims against Penn, the NCAA, and more than 100 other colleges … Continue Reading

Financial Advisors Not Entitled To Overtime, California Court Confirms

In its February 16, 2016 decision in Tsyn v. Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, Case No. 14-cv-02552-LB, the federal district court for the Northern District of California confirmed that licensed financial advisors qualified for the administrative exemption under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  Specifically, the plaintiffs’ primary duties fell within the examples of exempt duties … Continue Reading

Federal Court Decision Highlights Complexities of Laws Applicable to Pregnant Employees

As the laws governing the treatment of pregnant employees and new mothers continues to evolve, one recent decision from the United States District Court for the Northern District Alabama highlights the complexities that arise from the patchwork of federal laws that apply to employees during and after pregnancy. Facts The plaintiff in Hicks v. City … Continue Reading

DOL’s Request for Information on Employees’ Use of Electronic Devices Expected in February 2016

In its July 2015 notice of proposed rulemaking on the forthcoming changes to the “white collar” overtime regulations, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recognized employer concerns regarding the remote use of electronic devices by overtime-eligible employees.  The agency promised to issue a Request for Information (RFI) in the near future “seeking information from stakeholders on the use … Continue Reading
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