As touched upon in Jackson Lewis’ coverage of the employment law implications of President Obama’s reelection, employers are likely to see a continuation of the Department of Labor’s practices from the past four years during the next four. Per Jackson Lewis partner and former DOL Wage and Hour Administrator Paul DeCamp, these include:
· Completion of the rulemaking substantially restricting the scope of the companionship services exemption under the FLSA;
· Issuance of the so-called “Right to Know” regulations, which will require employers to analyze the employee status and possibly exemption status of any workers who do not receive overtime and minimum wage, and to provide that analysis to the employees;
· Continued aggressive enforcement initiatives, including increased demands for the payment of liquidated damages in order to resolve wage and hour investigations and higher levels of civil money penalties; and
· Continued amicus briefs and other guidance documents taking positions that can make it harder for employers to prevail, despite the Supreme Court’s high profile rejection of this approach in Christopher v. SmithKline Beecham Corp.
Employers in industries targeted by the DOL for scrutiny and reform, such as home care and hospitality, must stay abreast of DOL initiatives and enforcement practices. All employers must be prepared for Department of Labor investigation and regularly review their wage and hour policies and practices.