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Intern or Employee? When “Take Your Children to Work” Day Backfires

In late April each year, tens of millions of employees and millions of employers participate in Take Your Sons and Daughters to Work Day. Of course, the vast majority of the child participants are elementary school kids, or perhaps young teenagers, who visit their parents’ workplaces for a few hours and then return to their … Continue Reading

New Arizona Law Permits Parties To Establish Presumption Of Contractor Status Through Writing

As covered at length here, Arizona has enacted a new law effective August 6, 2016 allowing businesses and service providers seeking to enter into an independent contractor relationship to execute a “declaration of independent business status.”  A declaration complying with the statute creates a presumption of proper classification of the relationship between the parties as … Continue Reading

Indiana Court Rejects Claim that Scholar-Athletes Are Employees under FLSA

Last week, an Indiana federal court dismissed a lawsuit brought by former University of Pennsylvania (“Penn”) athletes against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (“NCAA”) and a number of its member schools over their alleged employment status and corresponding minimum wage protection under the FLSA. Berger, et al. v. NCAA, et al., S.D. Ind., No. 1:14-CV-01710, … Continue Reading

Illinois Judge Holds that Individual Liability Under FLSA Requires Both Ownership and Operational Control

The definition of an “employer” under the FLSA is, like a number of FLSA provisions, not well defined, as set forth in a long and thoughtful opinion from Judge Manish S. Shah of the Northern District of Illinois. Schneider v. Cornerstone Pints, Inc., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166993 (N.D. Ill. Dec. 1, 2015). However, it … Continue Reading

California Federal Court: Cosmetology and Hair Design Students Not “Employees” Entitled to Minimum Wage

Joining decisions from other parts of the country, a California federal judge has held that former cosmetology and “hair design” students were not “employees” under the Fair Labor Standards Act or the wage-and-hour laws of California and Nevada entitled to minimum wage. Benjamin v. B & H Education, Inc., et al., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS … Continue Reading

New York Federal Court Finds Business Properly Classified Translators As Independent Contractors

This month, two New York federal judges reviewing a claim of misclassification rejected a claim for overtime compensation, agreeing that a business properly classified two translators as independent contractors rather than as “employees” under the Fair Labor Standards Act and the New York Labor Law. See Mateo v. Universal Language Corp., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS … Continue Reading

Eleventh Circuit Rejects Airline Deregulation Act Preemption Challenge To Living Wage Ordinance

Courts continue to wrestle with preemption issues, the tension between sweeping federal laws purporting to regulate an industry or industries and laws enacted at the local level, such as labor laws impacting labor costs. In the most recent example, the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit rejected a cargo airline’s argument that the Airline … Continue Reading

Uber Litigation Continues To Serve As Legal Lightning Rod for “On Demand” Economy

Cases challenging the independent contractor status of certain service providers under the wage-and-hour laws are likely to continue in the near future due to the difficulties in applying the law to complex factual patterns. The Department of Labor recently provided additional guidance for determining contractor status in the form of an Administrator’s Interpretation (and the … Continue Reading

Eleventh Circuit Adopts Second Circuit’s “Primary Beneficiary” Test to Determine Compensability of Internships

The Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit last week adopted the Second Circuit’s “primary beneficiary” test as the appropriate test for determining whether an unpaid clinical intern was truly an “employee” within the meaning of the FLSA. Schumann v. Collier Anesthesia, P.A., 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 16194 (11th Cir. 2015). In rejecting the test … Continue Reading

“Yelping” Does Not Entitle You To Minimum Wage

Another Court has joined those holding providers of content to online portals are not employees within the meaning of wage-and-hour laws. Joining a decision from the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which rejected a claim brought by Huffington Post bloggers several years ago, Judge Richard Seeborg of the Northern District of California has … Continue Reading

USDOL Issues Administrative Interpretation Reflecting Administration’s View Of “Independent Contractor” Analysis Under FLSA

As previously promised, the Department of Labor today issued its eighth Administrator’s Interpretation (“AI”) since the 2010 implementation of this form of guidance. Today’s Interpretation, as expected, reflects the current Department’s position that the governing analysis is the economic realities test which, in the Department’s view, is used to determine “whether the worker is economically … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Supreme Court: Real Estate Brokers Not Covered by 2004 Independent Contractor Law Based On Continued Applicability of Real Estate Statute

Litigation regarding the status of workers as independent contractors or employees continues to be a hotbed of litigation. This is true even in industries that have long-considered workers as independent contractors, such as real estate agents. Attorneys representing workers, for example, have turned to state statutes addressing independent contractor status to attempt to upset these … Continue Reading

Consistent With Recent Decisions, Maryland Judge Finds Vocational School Students Not FLSA “Employees”

Like interns, vocational students often provide some degree of service as part of their vocational program. For this reason, such arrangements are susceptible to the allegation that these services are compensable “work time” under the FLSA. While such allegations have been made in some recent cases, in the first handful of these to reach decision, … Continue Reading

Pennsylvania Federal Court: Cosmetology Student Not An “Employee” Entitled To Minimum Wage

Last week, a Pennsylvania federal judge held that a former cosmetology school student was not entitled to minimum wage as an “employee” under the Fair Labor Standards Act or the Pennsylvania Wage Payment and Collection Law. Jochim v. Jean Madeline Educ. Ctr. of Cosmetology, Inc., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45663 (E.D. Pa. Apr. 8, 2015). … Continue Reading

New York Federal Court Holds Persons Performing Community Service To Avoid Criminal Prosecution Not “Employees” Entitled to Minimum Wage Under The FLSA

The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently revisited the Department of Labor’s four-part test for purposes of determining whether a person qualifies as a “public service volunteer.”  In a new decision applying the Second Circuit’s fact-intensive standard, Southern District of New York Judge Jesse M. Furman ruled in favor of the City of … Continue Reading

(Another) Cable Provider Not Joint Employer of Installers

One common “joint employer” allegation which has been regularly rejected by courts is that a regional cable provider is a joint employer of its installation subcontractors’ employees or contractor installers, due to the alleged business or operational control the cable provider exerts over the subcontractor in how installation work is performed.  A Missouri court recently … Continue Reading

Brooklyn Federal Court Rejects Allegation That Not-For-Profit Board President Was An Employer

Many courts, including the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, have ruled that under certain circumstances an individual can be a statutory “employer” under the Fair Labor Standards Act, liable for minimum or overtime wages usually along with a corporate entity.  The scope of such potential liability and the precise formulation of the “economic … Continue Reading

U.S. Open Tennis Umpires Properly Classified As Independent Contractors

Service providers vendors (and those vendors’ employees) are free to assert claims that they  “employees” of the entity for which they are providing services under the FLSA under independent contractor misclassification and joint employer theories.  Service providers continue to do so despite limited success, the most recent example being Judge Andrew Carter’s (SDNY) summary judgment … Continue Reading

Florida Judge Holds That Oyster Shucking Not Part of “Agriculture” For The Purposes Of Migrant Workers’ Act

The Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, 29 U.S.C. § 1801 et seq. (“AWPA”), provides certain protections to guest workers employed through the federal H-2B program.  This week, Judge Richard Smoak of the Northern District of Florida rejected a claim from workers employed pursuant to such program that their employment shucking oysters was covered … Continue Reading

Brooklyn Federal Court Finds Local Establishment Not Covered by FLSA

The high volume of FLSA litigation, particularly in jurisdictions such as New York and Florida, has in recent years forced many small businesses truly outside the scope of FLSA coverage to defend lawsuits brought pursuant to its minimum wage and overtime provisions.  Typically, these smaller employers attempt to address the issue of coverage early in … Continue Reading
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