Law and the Workplace

Tag Archives: misclassification

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

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

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

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

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

Connecticut Supreme Court Issues Important Clarification For Independent Contractor Test

On March 21, 2017, the Connecticut Supreme Court issued an important ruling, finding that an individual may be still considered an independent contractor under the state’s Unemployment Insurance Act even if he/she only provides services to one business or entity.  In so doing, the Connecticut Supreme Court reversed a decision by the Unemployment Insurance Board finding … 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

Oklahoma Partners With U.S. DOL to Investigate Worker Misclassification

On September 13, 2016, Oklahoma became the 35th state to enter into a partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor (U.S. DOL) to share information and conduct joint investigations regarding independent contractor misclassification.  Oklahoma represents just the latest in a flurry of new participants in the U.S. DOL’s Misclassification Initiative, which was launched in 2010 … Continue Reading

North Carolina and Nebraska Join 32 Other States In Agreeing To Partner With U.S. DOL to Investigate Worker Misclassification

Just last month we reported that Pennsylvania had entered into a memorandum of understanding (“MOU”) with the U.S. Department of Labor (“U.S. DOL”), agreeing to share information and conduct joint investigations regarding independent contractor misclassification.  Now two more states have joined the U.S. DOL in this effort. In the past week, North Carolina and Nebraska … Continue Reading

New Arizona Independent Contractor Law Now In Effect

Arizona’s “Declaration of Independent Business Status” law went into effect earlier this month. The new law, which appears to be the first of its kind, aims to provide independent contractors and the businesses that engage them greater certainty with respect to their employment status. Under the new law, independent contractors may sign a Declaration of Independent … 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

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

North Carolina Governor Signs Executive Order on Worker Misclassification

On December 18, 2015, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed an executive order establishing an “Employee Classification Section” within the state’s Industrial Commission.  The Order, which took effect immediately, tasked this new Section with overseeing employee misclassification enforcement by receiving reports of employee misclassification and referring those reports to appropriate state agencies for further action.  … Continue Reading

Governor Cuomo Vetoes Bill Creating Independent Contractor Test For Newspaper Carriers

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed several bills into law on Saturday, November 21, 2015.  However, one piece of legislation that did not make it past his desk was a measure that would have created a special test under which newspaper carriers could more easily be classified as independent contractors as opposed to employees for purposes of … Continue Reading

Vermont Department of Labor and U.S. DOL Agree to Work Together Against Misclassification

Yesterday the U.S. Department of Labor (“U.S. DOL”) and the Vermont Department of Labor (“VDOL”) signed a three-year memorandum of understanding to share information and conduct joint investigations regarding independent contractor misclassification.  The agreement is part of the U.S. DOL’s Misclassification Initiative, the goal of which is to prevent, detect, and remedy employee misclassification.  Just … Continue Reading

Alaska Department of Labor and U.S. DOL Agree to Work Together Against Misclassification

The U.S. Department of Labor (“U.S. DOL”) and the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development recently signed a memorandum of understanding to share information and conduct joint investigations regarding independent contractor misclassification.  The agreement is part of the U.S. DOL’s Misclassification Initiative, the goal of which is to prevent, detect, and remedy employee misclassification.  Just last … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Revives Putative Collective Action

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

US Department of Labor Issues Administrator’s Interpretation Aimed At Limiting Independent Contractor Classification

As forecast in our June 12, 2015 blog post David Weil, Administrator of the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has released Administrator’s Interpretation (AI) No. 2015-1, entitled “The Application of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s ‘Suffer or Permit’ Standard in the Identification of Employees Who Are Misclassified as Independent Contractors.”  The AI provides … Continue Reading
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