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Supreme Court Exempts Automobile Service Advisors from Overtime, Rejects ‘Narrow Construction’ Principle under FLSA

After years of litigation, this week the Supreme Court concluded that service advisors who work in an automobile dealership are exempt from overtime under the FLSA.  Much more profoundly, the Court unequivocally rejected the principle, a longstanding bane to employers, that FLSA exemptions should be “narrowly construed” due to the Act’s status as a “remedial” … Continue Reading

Wisconsin Legislature Preempts Local Enactment of Wage and Hour Regulations

Joining more than two dozen other states that have barred local enactment of minimum wage or other employment laws, on March 22, 2018 the Wisconsin legislature passed Assembly Bill 748, intended to promote statewide uniformity in the regulation of employment practices. AB 748 prevents local governments and municipalities from enacting and enforcing their own ordinances … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Adopts State Agency Formula for Calculating Overtime Value of Flat-Sum Bonus, Rejecting Federal View

The California Supreme Court has held that, under state law, when an employee earns a flat-sum bonus during a pay period, the overtime pay rate will be calculated using the actual number of non-overtime hours worked by the employee during the pay period. Alvarado v. Dart Container Corp., 2018 Cal. LEXIS 1123 (Cal. Mar. 5, … Continue Reading

Pennsylvania Governor Seeks to Expand Overtime Pay to Currently Exempt Employees

Frustrated by years of unsuccessful efforts to raise the minimum wage through the state’s Republican-controlled legislature, and in response to the recent federal court invalidation of the Obama-era DOL’s rule that would have doubled the minimum salary requirement for the executive, administrative and professional exemptions (i.e. the “white collar” exemptions) under the FLSA, Pennsylvania Governor … Continue Reading

Supreme Court (Re)hears Oral Argument on Application of Automobile Dealer Exemption to Service Advisors

Last week the Supreme Court heard – for the second time – oral argument in Encino Motorcars, LLC v. Navarro.  At issue is whether “service advisors” at dealerships are covered by what’s known as the “automobile dealer” exemption set forth in Section 213(b)(10)(A) of the FLSA.  That exemption excludes from overtime any “salesman, partsman, or … Continue Reading

It’s Cut and Dry: Ninth Circuit Adopts “Primary Beneficiary” Analysis, Concludes Cosmetology and Hair Design Students Were Interns, Not Employees

Former students at a cosmetology and hair design school with locations in California and Nevada were interns and not employees entitled to wages under the FLSA or state law, the Ninth Circuit has held.  Benjamin v. B&H Education, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 25672 (9th Cir. Dec. 19, 2017).  In so concluding, the Ninth Circuit adopted … Continue Reading

Governor Cuomo Contemplating Elimination of Tip Credit

Employers in New York currently are permitted to pay tipped workers a direct cash wage that is below the State minimum wage and take a “credit” for some of the tips received by employees to satisfy the difference between the cash wage paid and the full minimum wage.  For example, in New York City beginning … Continue Reading

California to Hold Direct Contractors Jointly Liable for Subcontractor’s Unpaid Wages and Fringe Benefits

Beginning with contracts entered into on or after January 1, 2018, direct (general) contractors in California will be held jointly liable for their subcontractors’ unpaid employee wages, fringe benefit or other benefit payments or contributions under Assembly Bill 1701, signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown on October 14th. This joint liability requirement is codified … Continue Reading

New York Department of Labor Issues Emergency Minimum Wage Regulations Regarding Home Healthcare Attendants, Controverting Recent Appellate Court Rulings

Citing the need “to preserve the status quo, prevent the collapse of the home healthcare industry, and avoid institutionalizing patients who could be cared for at home,” the New York Department of Labor (NYDOL) has issued emergency regulations to ensure consistency with longstanding opinion letters issued by the Department and to clarify that time spent … Continue Reading

Here’s a Tip, Minnesota: Discharging Employees for Refusing to Share Gratuities is Prohibited

Discharging an employee for refusing to share tips is illegal under the Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act (MFLSA), according to the Supreme Court of Minnesota.  Burt v. Rackner, Inc., 2017 Minn. LEXIS 629 (Minn. Oct. 11, 2017).  In Burt the plaintiff, who was employed as a bartender, was told that he needed to give more … Continue Reading

Waiting Without Pay for Nike’s Pre-Exit Bag Inspection? Just Do It – Maybe, or at Least Until the California Supreme Court Weighs In

Nike retail employees required to undergo post-clockout, pre-exit bag and coat checks are not entitled to compensation under California’s wage and hour laws for the time spent on such inspections, a federal district court has ruled.  Rodriguez v. Nike Retail Services, Inc., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147762 (N.D. Cal. Sept. 12, 2017).  Assuming such inspections … Continue Reading

Department of Labor Moves to Dismiss Appeal on Obama-Era Overtime Rule (UPDATED 9/7/2017)

As anticipated following last week’s decision by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, striking down the Department of Labor’s May 2016 Final Rule regarding the FLSA’s “white collar” overtime exemptions, the DOL has asked the Fifth Circuit to dismiss its appeal of the district court’s preliminary injunction invalidating the Rule last … Continue Reading

North Carolina’s New Employee Misclassification Law: What Will Be the Practical Effect?

Effective December 31, 2017, the North Carolina Employee Fair Classification Act, signed into law on August 11th, creates the Employee Classification Section of the North Carolina Industrial Commission. This new Section will be authorized to receive and investigate reports by employees claiming to be misclassified as independent contractors, and to share information with other state … Continue Reading

New Oregon Overtime Law both Giveth to, and Taketh Away from, Manufacturing Employers

Effective immediately, Oregon’s law has been clarified to provide relief to non-union employers operating mills, factories or other manufacturing facilities with respect to certain overtime pay obligations, but also has been revised, effective January 1, 2018, to limit the number of weekly hours employees in such establishments may work. Previously, the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries … Continue Reading

Washington Supreme Court Clarifies State Meal Break Requirements

Under Washington State’s meal break statute, an employer must provide an employee working five or more consecutive hours a 30-minute meal period, although employees may waive the meal break under state law.  In answering questions certified to it by a federal district court, the Washington Supreme Court first explained that the statute does not provide … Continue Reading

UPDATED: Oral Argument on Overtime Rule Appeal Scheduled for October 3rd

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has set oral argument for October 3rd (revised 8/30/2017) on the Obama-era overtime pay rule that has been blocked from government enforcement by a federal district court in Texas since last November.  The DOL under the Trump administration already has backed away from the government’s previous position, asserting in its appellate brief that … Continue Reading

DOL Withdraws Joint Employer and Independent Contractor Administrator’s Interpretations

U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta announced on June 7, 2017, the immediate withdrawal of two Wage and Hour Division Administrator’s Interpretations (“AIs”) on joint employment and independent contractor status issued by the Obama administration. Administrator’s Interpretation No. 2016-01, issued in January 2016, addressed joint employment under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and Migrant … Continue Reading

New York State Department of Labor Appeals Decision Invalidating Regulations Governing Payroll Debits Cards and Direct Deposit

The New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) has appealed the Industrial Board of Appeals decision that invalidated and revoked final regulations issued by the NYSDOL which would have significantly restricted the use of payroll debit cards and imposed new disclosure and consent requirements for direct deposit.  The regulations (12 NYCRR §192) were to become … Continue Reading

Georgia Law Endorses ‘On Call Scheduling’ Practice

Georgia’s governor recently signed into law a measure protecting Georgia employers from those pesky local laws seeking to regulate wages and hours.  The State already prohibits localities from enacting more favorable minimum wage and overtime laws than State law, but now Georgia’s tradition of promoting an employer-friendly environment, particularly for retail businesses and restaurants, has … Continue Reading

Federal Court In Illinois Rules Online Retailer Of Event Tickets Qualifies As “Retail Establishment” Under Section 207(i) Of The FLSA, Refusing to Defer to DOL Regulations

An online ticket broker that sells tickets to concerts, sporting events, and the theater qualifies as a “retail or service establishment” under Section 207(i) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), Judge John Lee of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois held. Blahnik v. Box Office Ticket Sales, LLC, 2017 … Continue Reading

NYSDOL Adopts Regulations Implementing State Law Limiting Employer’s Right to Restrict Employee Discussion Regarding Wages

In October 2015, New York amended its equal pay law making it unlawful for an employer to prohibit employees from inquiring about, discussing, or disclosing their wages or the wages of other employees.  N.Y. Lab. Law § 194(4).  The law reflects the belief that if employees can openly discuss their wages (including knowledge regarding the … Continue Reading
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