Archives: Exemptions

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Ninth Circuit Creates Circuit Split Regarding FLSA Classification of Sales Advisor Position

Two Circuit Courts have held service advisers are exempt “salesmen” within the meaning of 29 U.S.C. 213(b)(10). But the Ninth Circuit thinks otherwise, deferring to USDOL guidance and finding the exemption inapplicable. Navarro v. Encino Motorcars, LLC, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 4773 (9th Cir. Mar. 24, 2015). Encino Motorcars concerned the exemption applicable to automobile … Continue Reading

Tenth Circuit: Isolated Deduction Does Not Defeat Salary Basis For Exempt Salaried Employees

Compliance with salary basis requirements is one pre-requisite for exempt status under the FLSA’s “white collar” exemptions.   A recent decision issued by the Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit analyzed this requirement and upheld the employer’s salary basis of payment, rejecting the Plaintiff’s claim that an isolated deduction from an exempt employee’s salary destroys … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Upholds DOL’s 2010 Interpretive Guidance Reversing Prior Position Regarding FLSA Classification of Loan Officers

Reversing the D.C. Circuit’s 2013 opinion, the Supreme Court today held that the U.S. Department of Labor did not violate the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) when, in 2010, it issued its Administrator’s Interpretation stating that mortgage loan officers generally do not qualify for the administrative exemption without first affording the public the opportunity for notice … Continue Reading

Research Manager Properly Classified As Exempt Administrative Employee

To be “administratively” exempt from overtime, in addition to being paid appropriately on a  salary or fee basis, an employee must perform office or non-manual work directly related to the management or general business operations of his or her employer, with a primary duty which includes the exercise of discretion and independent judgment with respect to matters of significance.  A new decision from the Southern District of … Continue Reading

DC Judge Leon Also Vacates New Definition of “Companionship Services”

On the heels of his ruling vacating the DOL’s new rule (which was scheduled to be effective January 1st) rendering the FLSA’s companionship exemption unavailable to “third party” employers of companions, Judge Richard Leon has now issued a companion decision vacating the new, substantially narrowed definition of “companionship services” contained in the same DOL rulemaking.  … Continue Reading

Team Leaders at Processing Facility Properly Classified as Exempt

Division of supervisory duties among different classifications of exempt employees sometimes gives rise to claims that some or all of those managerial employees do not qualify for the executive exemption.  Analyzing and rejecting one such challenge, an Arkansas federal court recently concluded that “Team Leaders” at one of the nation’s largest frozen food processing facilities … Continue Reading

DC Judge Invalidates Home Care Rule

Last evening, the Home Care Association of America followed in the footsteps of the Mortgage Bankers Association, obtaining a ruling that the DOL’s reversal of its position regarding the exempt status of agency-employed “companions” violated the Administrative Procedure Act.  Home Care Ass’n of Am. v. Weil, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176307 (D.D.C. Dec. 22, 2014).  … Continue Reading

Third Circuit: Racing To Disaster Location Constituted “Outside Sales”

As we have written before the outside sales exemption is arguably one of the more straight-forward FLSA exemptions,  having only two requirements:  1) having as the primary duty making sales or obtaining orders; and 2) doing so away from the employer’s place or places of business “customarily and regularly.”  Nevertheless, this simple test can be … Continue Reading

Joining Second Circuit, First Circuit Rejects Highly Compensated Workers’ Challenge to Salary Basis Test

The “highly compensated” regulation is designed to relax the exempt status tests for the white collar exemptions for individuals who make more than $100,000 per year in total compensation.  29 C.F.R. § 541.601(a).  Nevertheless, challenges to exempt classification of such workers can arise, with the employee claiming he or she still was non-exempt based on … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Reviews Record, Finds Question of Fact as to Discretion and Independent Judgment Exercised by Adjusters

The FLSA exemption inquiry is fact-intensive, particularly when the analysis pertains to the so-called “white collar” exemptions, as highlighted by a new decision from the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.  Harper v. Gov’t Emples. Ins. Co., 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 19310 (2d Cir. Oct. 10, 2014). In Harper, District Judge Leonard Wexler granted … Continue Reading

DOL Policy Statement Delays (Government) Enforcement of Home Care Overtime Rule

In response to pressure from state governments and others fearing the increased cost of home care services, the Department of Labor announced Tuesday that it would delay its own enforcement of the new rule requiring that previously-exempt “companions” receive minimum wage and overtime.  The DOL’s Policy Statement stated that the DOL would not enforce the … Continue Reading

North Carolina Judge Upholds Employer Classification of Employee as Exempt Computer Professional

The rapidly evolving world of information technology can give rise to disputes regarding the applicability of the FLSA’s 20+ year-old exemption for “computer professionals.”  A new decision reinforces that individuals whose job responsibilities require them to maintain large networks qualify for the exemption.  Campbell v. Kannapolis City Schs. Bd. of Educ., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS … Continue Reading

Manhattan Federal Court Finds Contract Attorney “Practiced Law,” Exempt From Overtime

An attorney and his lawyer made headlines recently when he asserted an FLSA claim against prominent Manhattan law firm Skadden Arps claiming the firm owed him overtime pay for his work as a contract attorney on large scale litigation handled by Skadden.  On Wednesday, Judge Richard J. Sullivan granted Skadden’s motion to dismiss the claim. … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Finds Audit Associates Are Exempt Professionals

Affirming a highly-publicized 2012 decision from Southern District of New York Judge Colleen McMahon, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled last week that audit associates employed by “Big Four” accountancy KPMG qualified for the learned professional exemption from overtime under the FLSA.  Pippins v. Kpmg Llp, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 13997 (2d … Continue Reading

Virginia Judge Rejects Highly Compensated IT Professional’s Misclassification Claim

The FLSA’s technical “white collar exemption” regulations, slated for review and potential overhaul later this year, allow plaintiffs’ attorneys and even the highly paid employees they represent to challenge exempt status.  A recent decision from the Eastern District of Virginia rejects one such claim brought by a highly paid information technology worker paid a salary … Continue Reading

Ohio Judge: Mortgage Underwriters Properly Classified As Exempt Administrative Employees

The exempt status of loan officers continues to make headlines as the Mortgage Bankers Association presses for Supreme Court affirmance of its successful challenge to a DOL opinion regarding the applicability of the administrative exemption to those workers.  A new court decision highlights the fact intensive nature of exemption inquiries, and also the potentially misleading … Continue Reading

Supreme Court To Review DOL Authority To Issue Administrator Interpretations

Perhaps no single exemption classification under the FLSA has been subject to as much scrutiny, or generated as much inconsistent authority from courts and the United States Department of Labor, as the classification of loan officers in the mortgage banking industry.  In 2013, the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit invalidated the Department of … Continue Reading

DOL States Plan To Issue Proposed Revisions To FLSA White Collar Exemptions In 2014

The Department of Labor recently released its 2014 Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, a non-binding statement regarding upcoming rulemaking.  The Agenda provides a timetable for issuance of a proposed rule revising the regulations interpreting the Fair Labor Standards Act’s “white collar” overtime exemptions, in conformity with the President’s recent directive.  As we often discuss, certain “white collar” … Continue Reading

Manhattan Magistrate Judge Recommends Court Apply Computer Exemption to Systems Support Analyst

The FLSA exempts from the overtime pay requirement employees who receive qualifying compensation and perform the duties of a computer professional, principally relating to computer programming or systems analysis.  29 U.S.C. § 213(a)(17).  A New York Magistrate Judge recently issued a recommendation seeking to clarify what duties an employee must perform to be considered an exempt “computer professional.”  Olorode v. Streamingedge, … Continue Reading

California Court Upholds Employer’s Classification of Registered Dietitians as Exempt ”Professionals”

As the healthcare field continues to expand to meet evolving standards of care and government regulations, industry employers have created or modified categories of professional employees to meet business and medical needs.  New positions have been created which are not addressed by name in existing DOL regulations and case law concerning applicability of the learned … Continue Reading

Florida Judge: LPN Who Administered Workers’ Comp Program Was Exempt Administrative Employee

Judge William Terrell Hodges of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida recently ruled that an employee with an LPN degree who was responsible for managing an employer’s workers’ compensation claims qualified for the administrative exemption.  Hodge v. ClosetMaid Corp., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45490 (M.D. Fla. Apr. 2, 2014). In … Continue Reading

Eighth Circuit Affirms In Part District Court’s Rejection of Jury Finding That Managers Were Properly Classified as Exempt

Reviewing a decision of a trial judge reversing a jury’s finding that several lumber company managers were properly classified as exempt, the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruled on the narrow issue of whether testimony that ownership solicited feedback from “all employees” could support a finding that the exempt managers’ recommendations were given … Continue Reading
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