Law and the Workplace

Tag Archives: department of labor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New York Regulations on Wage Payment Methods Declared Invalid

As we previously reported, on September 7, 2016, the New York State Department of Labor (“NYSDOL”) published final regulations on the methods by which employees must be paid, including with respect to direct deposit of wages and payroll debit cards.  These regulations–to be codified in 12 NYCRR Part 192–were scheduled to take effect on March … 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

Appellate Division Rules That Paid Blogger Was Not An “Employee” Entitled To Unemployment Benefits, Signaling Trend Toward More Searching Judicial Review of Agency Decisions

One of the recurring themes in workplace law in 2016 was the continued crackdown on independent contractor misclassification.  Both federal and state agencies, as well as the plaintiffs’ bar, invested significant resources to challenge employers in the “gig economy”—as well as in more traditional businesses—that rely heavily on contractors, freelancers, and other third-party service providers. … 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

New York’s New Wage Orders, Raising Minimum Salaries for Exemption, Could Take Effect December 31

The New York State Department of Labor is still sitting on proposed new wage orders that raise the weekly salary thresholds for exemption as an executive or administrative employee from the current $675 per week ($35,100 annually) to up to $825 per week ($42,900) for employers with eleven or more employees in New York City.  … Continue Reading
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