Law and the Workplace

Category Archives: FLSA

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DOL Reiterates That Hours Need Not Fluctuate Above and Below 40 in Fluctuating Workweek Method of Pay

SchedulingIn an opinion letter issued on August 31, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor restated its position that an employee’s hours need not fluctuate above and below 40 hours to qualify for the fluctuating workweek (“FWW”) method of calculating overtime pay in 29 C.F.R. § 778.114. Under the FWW method of pay, an overtime-eligible employee … Continue Reading

DOL Guidance Reminds Employers of Obligations to Track and Pay For Remote Work

On August 24, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (“WHD”) issued a Field Assistance Bulletin (“FAB”) providing guidance on employers’ obligations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) to track and pay for the hours of compensable work performed by employees who are working remotely.  While timely in light of the … Continue Reading

DOL Releases Additional COVID-19 Guidance Related to FFCRA, FMLA and FLSA

As we have previously reported, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) continues to update its COVID-19 guidance. Most recently, on July 20, 2020, the DOL issued additional Q and A guidance related to COVID-19 and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the Families First Coronavirus Response … Continue Reading

DOL To Refrain From Seeking Liquidated Damages in Most Pre-Litigation Settlements

SchedulingEffective July 1, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) will pull back on seeking liquidated damages in pre-litigation settlements of wage claims and investigations.  The change in policy, announced in Field Assistance Bulletin 2020-2, is significant, as liquidated damages can equal 100% of the back pay deemed to be owing, potentially resulting in “double … Continue Reading

Pennsylvania Supreme Court: Fluctuating Workweek Method of Overtime Pay is Unlawful

On November 20, 2019, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that the fluctuating workweek (“FWW”) method of calculating overtime pay owed to salaried workers is prohibited by state law. Chevalier v. General Nutrition Centers Inc., Pennsylvania Supreme Court, No. 22-WAP-2018. Under the FWW method of pay, an overtime-eligible employee receives a fixed salary for all hours … Continue Reading

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

On January 1, 2020, the new federal overtime rule takes effect.  Other than in states with already-higher minimum salaries for exemption (which include California and, for certain types of employees, New York), employers will be required to pay most executive, administrative, and professional employees at least $684 per week ($35,568 per year).  Are you ready for … Continue Reading

The New Federal Overtime Rule:  What You Need to Know

The U.S. Department of Labor issued its final rule amending the overtime regulations today, without any significant changes from the proposed rule the agency issued in March 2019.  Here’s the bottom line: The salary minimum for exemption as an executive, administrative, or professional employee will jump from $455 per week ($23,660 per year) to $684 … Continue Reading

Dems Introduce Bills to Raise Salary Minimum for Overtime Exemption

Members of the House and Senate introduced companion bills on June 11, 2019 to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act to raise the minimum salary threshold for exempt executive, administrative, and professional (“EAP”) employees to north of $50,000 and to automatically update the threshold every three years. The “Restoring Overtime Pay Act of 2019” (H.R. … Continue Reading

DOL Validates Independent Contractor Relationships in the On-Demand Marketplace

In an opinion letter issued April 29, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division concluded that a “virtual marketplace company” (“VMC”) that connects service providers with consumers is not the employer of the service providers.  The opinion should be a welcome one not only for VMCs and businesses in the “gig economy,” … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit Affirms Denial of Class Certification for Failure to Show Commonality under Dukes in Vacation Pay Suit

Last week, in McCaster et al. v. Darden Restaurants, Inc. et al., No. 15-3258 (7th Cir. Jan. 5, 2017), the Seventh Circuit relied on Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 564 U.S. 338 (2011) and affirmed the district court’s denial of class certification of Plaintiffs’ claims for vacation pay under state law.  The Seventh Circuit’s reliance … Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit Addresses FLSA Tip Credits Once Again

The Fifth Circuit has had tipping on its mind, as the decision of Steele v. Leasing Enterprises, Ltd., represents its second opinion within ten months addressing this pay practice. On the heels of Montano v. Montrose, the Steele decision tackles the question of whether an employer violates 29 U.S.C §203(m) of the Fair Labor Standards … Continue Reading

Eleventh Circuit Adopts Second Circuit’s “Primary Beneficiary” Test for Unpaid Interns

On September 11, 2015, the Eleventh Circuit became the first appellate court to address the standard for lawful unpaid internships since the Second Circuit’s ruling in Glatt et al. v. Fox Searchlight Pictures, Inc. et al. (For more on Glatt, see our post here). The new decision adopts the Glatt test and reasoning wholesale, and … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Revives Contract Attorney’s Misclassification Suit

On July 23, 2015, the Second Circuit, in Lola v. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, Tower Legal Staffing, Inc., revived a putative collective action brought by David Lola, a contract attorney, against Skadden and Tower Legal Staffing, Inc., alleging violations of the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.  The Second Circuit … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Adopts The “Highly Individualized” Primary Beneficiary Test In Unpaid Intern Lawsuits

On July 2nd, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued its decisions in Glatt et al. v. Fox Searchlight Pictures, Inc. et al. and Wang et al.  v. The Hearst Corp., the two unpaid intern lawsuits heard in tandem by the court on January 30, 2015.  The court’s opinion in Glatt, … Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit Refuses Application of Bright-Line Test in FLSA Seaman Exemption Dispute

On November 13, 2014, the Fifth Circuit addressed the uncertainty stemming from its decision in Owens v. SeaRiver Maritime, Inc., 272 F.3d 698 (5th Cir. 2001), wherein the Court found that a plaintiff’s unloading and loading of vessels was considered “nonseaman” work subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (“FLSA”) overtime requirements. Subsequent to that decision, … Continue Reading

Lawful Shmawful: Ninth Circuit Ignores Lawful Written Policy and Uses Statistical Sampling to Certify Class Based on Alleged “Unofficial Policy”

On September 3, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld certification of a class of approximately 800 nonexempt insurance claims adjusters who claimed they worked overtime without compensation despite the employer’s lawful written policy to pay nonexempt employees for all hours worked.… Continue Reading

Employers Should Now Run – Not Walk – Toward Adopting Arbitration Agreements in California

Today, the California Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in Iskanian v. CLS Transp. Los Angeles, LLC, Case No. S204032, upholding class action waivers in employment arbitration agreements.  This means that the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2011 opinion in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion is to be given full force and effect in the employment setting … Continue Reading

California Courts May No Longer Be Able to Certify a Ham Sandwich

Commentators have quipped that class certification is so easy in California that with little effort a group of plaintiffs could certify even a ham sandwich.  In fact, as we have discussed here, we have seen a proliferation of recent appellate decisions hinging class certification on the mere existence of an employer’s uniform policy – no … Continue Reading

Court Approves FLSA Settlement that Extinguishes Related State Law Claims

When an employer settles a collective action lawsuit under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), may the settlement agreement also include a release of any rights to overtime pay which the plaintiffs may have under state law? In Wells Fargo Wage and Hour Employment Practices Litigation, MDL No. H-11-2266 (S.D. Tex. May 12, 2014), the … Continue Reading

Rebuking “Trial by Formula,” Federal Court Decertifies Rule 23(b)(3) Class Action

In Stiller v. Costco Wholesale Corp., No. 3:09-cv-2473-GPC-BGS, Plaintiffs Eric Stiller and Joseph Moro alleged that Costco’s loss-prevention closing procedures effectively “forced” employees to work off-the clock without getting paid because they were required to remain on-site after they had clocked out of their shifts to go through security screenings.  In December 2010, the district … Continue Reading
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