Law and the Workplace
Allan Bloom

Allan Bloom

Allan Bloom is a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department and co-head of the Wage and Hour Practice Group. Allan is an experienced trial lawyer who represents management in a broad range of employment and labor law matters. He has successfully defended a number of the world’s leading financial services, investment management, technology, consumer products, telecommunications, publishing, insurance, construction, and lodging companies, as well as global law firms and cultural institutions, against claims for unpaid wages, employment discrimination, breach of contract, and wrongful discharge, both at the trial and appellate court levels.

Allan has secured complete defense verdicts for clients in front of juries as well as in bench trials, in cases involving allegations of age, disability (actual and perceived), national origin, race, and sex discrimination; harassment/hostile work environment; failure to provide reasonable accommodations; and retaliation.

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DOL Clarifies Pay Rules for FMLA-Related Breaks

In an opinion letter issued on April 12, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor concluded that 15-minute breaks throughout the day required by an employee’s serious health condition are not compensable—notwithstanding the general rule that breaks of 20 minutes or less are to be paid.  The agency explained the exception as follows: [R]est breaks up … Continue Reading

Governor Cuomo Signs New York State Budget Anti-Harassment Provisions Into Law

On April 12, 2018, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law the New York State budget, which, as we previously reported, includes several significant measures directed at both private and government employers regarding sexual harassment in the workplace. The signing of the budget bills triggers the countdown to the effective dates of the various … Continue Reading

DOL Clears Up Travel Time Issue For Employees With No “Normal Working Hours”

The rules on what kinds of travel time are (and are not) compensable for non-exempt employees are complex.  As opposed to exempt employees—who generally receive a salary intended to compensate them for all working time, including time spent in business-related travel—non-exempt employees are often only paid for the particular hours that the law deems compensable.  … Continue Reading

States’ Attorneys General Throw Shade on USDOL’s “PAID” Program

Last month, we discussed some serious concerns about the efficacy of the U.S. Department of Labor’s “PAID” program, under which employers can self-report wage and hour violations to the federal agency and negotiate a seeming resolution of potential claims.  Chief among our concerns was that the resolution would not extend to state law claims, leaving … Continue Reading

New York State Budget Includes Workplace Anti-Sexual Harassment Measures

The New York State Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo have reached agreement on a $168 billion budget deal for the 2019 fiscal year, which began on April 1, 2018. The budget includes several significant measures directed at both private and government employers regarding sexual harassment in the workplace. Many of the measures mirror legislation that … Continue Reading

SCOTUS Soundly Rejects Notion That FLSA Exemptions Are To Be “Narrowly Construed”

In an April 2, 2018 decision of otherwise narrow appeal to most employers (whether the exemption in Section 13(b) (10)(A) of the Fair Labor Standards Act for an automobile “salesman, partsman, or mechanic” applies to “service advisors”), the Supreme Court flatly debunked the well-worn notion that FLSA exemptions are to be construed narrowly. To be fair, … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Holds Discrimination Based on Transgender Status is Prohibited Under Title VII

In a unanimous decision in EEOC v. R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, Inc., a three-judge Sixth Circuit panel has held that discrimination on the basis of transgender status is “necessarily” discrimination on the basis of sex and therefore prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”). Background The case … Continue Reading

DOL’s “New” PAID Self-Reporting Program of Questionable Value to Employers

Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division announced the upcoming launch of a “new” pilot program called the Payroll Audit Independent Determination program (“PAID”).  Under PAID, employers can come forward voluntarily to disclose wage and hour violations to the DOL, the DOL will supervise a settlement of any monetary claims … Continue Reading

Austin, Texas Enacts Paid Sick and Safe Leave Law

The Austin, Texas City Council has enacted a paid sick and safe leave ordinance, becoming the first southern city to pass such a law for private sector employees.  The ordinance will take effect on October 1, 2018 for employers with five or more employees; coverage for smaller employers begins on October 1, 2020. Employees who work … Continue Reading

DOL Revives Slate of FLSA Opinion Letters From 2009

Continuing the pro-business activities many expected from the agency, the U.S. Department of Labor has revived 17 Fair Labor Standards Act opinion letters that were published in the waning days of the Bush Administration in January 2009 but promptly withdrawn by the Obama DOL in March of that year.  The opinion letters were reissued verbatim … Continue Reading

New York Minimum Salary for Exemption and Minimum Wage To Increase on December 31

It’s that time of year again!  New York State’s annual threshold increases for overtime exemption and minimum wage go into effect on December 31, 2017.  On that date: The minimum salary for exemption as an “administrative” or “executive” employee increases from $825 per week ($42,900 annually) to $975 per week ($50,700 annually) for New York … Continue Reading

SDNY Denies Approval in FLSA Settlement Based In Part on Overly Broad Non-Disparagement Clause

In its November 17, 2017 opinion in Galindo v. East County Louth, Inc. (No. 16 Civ. 9149), the Southern District of New York denied a motion to approve an individual FLSA settlement, including on the ground that the settlement agreement contained what the Court deemed to be an overly broad non-disparagement provision. In the settlement … Continue Reading

DOL to Appeal Ruling That 2016 Overtime Rule Exceeded Its Authority

The DOL will appeal a Texas federal court’s ruling that the Obama administration’s 2016 overtime rule exceeded the DOL’s authority. The appeal comes nearly two months after the DOL dropped an earlier appeal of that court’s preliminary injunction on the same topic. The 2016 overtime rule would have required employers to pay most executive, administrative, … Continue Reading

UPDATED: New York City Commission on Human Rights Publishes FAQ Guidance on NYC Salary History Law

On the heels of its recently issued fact sheets, the NYC Commission on Human Rights (the “Commission”) has published a frequently asked questions page on the New York City salary history inquiry law, which goes into effect on October 31, 2017. The FAQs address a number of details about the law, which restricts the ability … Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit Dismisses Appeal of Nationwide Injunction of Obama-Era Overtime Rule

In light of the Texas district court’s recent judgment invalidating the 2016 overtime rule, the DOL filed an unopposed motion to withdraw its appeal of the November 2016 order that preliminarily enjoined the rule on a nationwide basis.  The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals granted the motion and dismissed the appeal on September 6.  Unless … Continue Reading

Texas Court Invalidates 2016 Federal Overtime Rule; DOL Seeks to Withdraw Appeal of Injunction

On August 31, 2017, the Texas federal district court that had issued a preliminary injunction in November 2016 blocking implementation of the Obama Administration’s revised overtime rule granted the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment, declaring the rule invalid and ending the case at the district court.  The DOL had appealed the injunction with the Fifth Circuit Court … Continue Reading

Wage and Hour Considerations During Weather-Related Emergencies

As Tropical Storm Harvey continues wreak havoc across Texas and beyond, it’s the right time to revisit employer rights and responsibilities during a weather-related emergency or other major disruption.  Here are some typical scenarios that employers face during weather-related or other emergencies, and the consequences under the wage and hour laws. “Our office was closed … Continue Reading

[Podcast] The Proskauer Brief: Congressional Legislation Update

Which federal bills will become law? Proskauer partner Allan Bloom and associate Rachel Philion run through some of the key proposed congressional legislation in the pipeline that we are keeping our eyes on, and provide insight into the potential implications for employers if they pass. We also provide an update on developments from the U.S. Department of … Continue Reading

New Rules Implementing the NYC Freelance Isn’t Free Act To Become Effective on July 24, 2017

As we previously reported, in November 2016, NYC Mayor De Blasio signed into law the Freelance Isn’t Free Act, establishing protections for freelance workers, including the right to receive a written contract for work valued at $800 or more, the right to be paid timely and in full, and the right to be free from … Continue Reading
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