Law and the Workplace

Tag Archives: department of labor

Proposed Overtime Rule Published; Public Comment Period Open Until May 21

The U.S. Department of Labor’s proposed new overtime rule was published in the Federal Register today.  As described in our earlier post, the proposed new rule would: Raise the salary minimum for exemption as an executive, administrative, or professional employee to $679 per week ($35,308 per year). Allow employers to satisfy up to 10% of the … Continue Reading

The Regulation of Employers’ Workplace Violence Prevention Programs Under OSHA’s General Duty Clause

Last week, Gillian had the distinct pleasure of attending the ABA Occupational Safety and Health Law Meeting in sunny and beautiful San Juan, Puerto Rico.  The meeting included more than a dozen presentations and panels on workplace safety put on by management and union lawyers, OSHRC Commissioners, the Solicitor of Labor’s office, safety professionals, administrative … Continue Reading

Unboxing The Proposed New Federal Overtime Rule

It’s here.  The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division unveiled its proposed new overtime rule today.  We skipped the 200-plus pages of preamble and jumped right to the proposed regulatory amendments themselves (we’ll digest the prefatory materials in another post).  Here’s the deal: The salary minimum for exemption as an executive, administrative, or … Continue Reading

Moonlighting Police Officers Are Employees, Not Independent Contractors, Says Sixth Circuit

In yet another legal development calling into question a traditional independent contractor relationship in the U.S., the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit determined that off-duty police officers were employees of a private security company for purposes of the Fair Labor Standards Act.  In Acosta v. Off Duty Police Services, Inc. (6th Cir. Feb. … Continue Reading

[Podcast]: Recent Developments in Federal Overtime Rules

In this episode of The Proskauer Brief, senior counsel Harris Mufson and partner Allan Bloom discuss recent developments in federal overtime rules.  The Trump administration recently released its fall 2018 regulatory agenda, with lots of information relating to the Department of Labor (DOL). The DOL appears to be committed to a more business-friendly regulatory framework … Continue Reading

Federal Regulatory Agenda Previews Anticipated FLSA Rule Changes

The Trump Administration unveiled its Fall 2018 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions (the “Regulatory Agenda”) earlier this week.  That’s the biannual report from the federal administrative agencies on the regulatory actions they plan to take in the near and long term. Lots of juicy information in the Regulatory Agenda, but we’ll focus on … Continue Reading

New Federal Tip Rules Expected in October 2018

Since 1966, Section 3(m) of the Fair Labor Standards Act permits an employer to take a tip credit toward its minimum wage obligation for tipped employees equal to the difference between the required cash wage (currently $2.13) and the federal minimum wage (currently $7.25).  Employers using the tip credit must be able to show that … Continue Reading

Trump’s Fall Regulatory Agenda Pegs March 2019 For Proposed New Overtime Rule

In its Fall 2018 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, published today, the Trump Administration formally announced its intention to issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in March 2019 “to determine the appropriate salary level for exemption of executive, administrative and professional employees.”  See our earlier post for what to expect in the proposed new rule.… Continue Reading

New Federal Overtime Rule Expected in March 2019 

It doesn’t seem that long ago that employers were busily preparing for the new overtime rule that would have doubled the minimum salary level for the “white collar” exemptions from $23,660 to nearly $48,000.  That new rule—finalized in May 2016 and set to take effect on December 1 of that year—was struck down by a … Continue Reading

Second Circuit, Relying on SCOTUS Instruction, Rejects “Narrow Construction” Principle for FLSA Exemptions

In two decisions issued on September 19, the Second Circuit relied on the Supreme Court’s instruction in Encino Motorcars, LLC v. Navarro, 138 S. Ct. 1134, 1140 (April 2, 2018) that FLSA exemptions are not to be construed narrowly, but fairly. In Munoz-Gonzalez v. D.C. Limousine Service, Inc., analyzing the taxicab exemption in Section 13(b)(17) of … Continue Reading

DOL Issues Four New FLSA Opinion Letters

Summer’s not over yet!  On August 28, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor issued four new letters in response to requests for opinions under the Fair Labor Standards Act.  In this most recent slate of letters, the DOL offers guidance on compensable time, the retail sales exemption, volunteers, and the motion picture theater exemption. Compensable … Continue Reading

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
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