Tag Archives: fair labor standards act

Federal Court In Florida Is Latest To Reject DOL Regulation, Finds FLSA Does Not Require That Employees Receiving Full Minimum Wage Retain All Tips

While Department of Labor regulations interpreting the FLSA remain the primary source of employer guidance regarding the Act’s requirements, they are not necessarily the final word on what federal wage law requires. This is so even where they have been subject to “notice and comment,” triggering a higher level of judicial deference.  A federal court … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Affirms: Not All Complaints About Work Policies Relating to Hours “Protected Activity” Under the FLSA

The substantive provisions of the FLSA protect covered non-exempt employees’ right to receive minimum wage and, as applicable, overtime pay.  The statute’s anti-retaliation provision is co-extensive: it protects employees from termination or other adverse employment action in response to complaints that those provisions were violated.  The FLSA however does not extend anti-retaliation protections to employees … Continue Reading

New Jersey Court: Meal Preparation, Other Tasks Properly Part of “Companion” Duties Under Old Test

In 2013 the Department of Labor announced new regulatory language that substantially limited the scope of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s companionship exemption. Those regulations, of course, were challenged through litigation which remains ongoing, and their implementation by the USDOL was delayed until many months after the original effective date of January 1, 2015. Though … Continue Reading

Louisiana Federal Court Rules Half-Time Method Applies to Calculation of Any Alleged Unpaid Overtime and Bonuses Paid Offset Any Potential Liability

Courts addressing FLSA misclassification claims brought by employees classified as salaried exempt workers must determine damages. In a new decision from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, Judge Jane Triche Milazzo ruled that successful Plaintiffs in one such misclassification case are only entitled to “half-time” damages. Further, the Court ruled … Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit: Employer Has Right to Mandate Employee Compliance with Overtime Reporting Procedures And Is Not Liable When Employee Fails to Follow Procedures

Overtime claims based on alleged “off the clock” work often turn on the question of whether the employer has “suffered or permitted” the employee to work uncompensated hours in excess of forty in the workweek. The Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has affirmed a Mississippi district court’s finding that an employer did not … Continue Reading

Caretakers’ Own Homes Were “Private Homes,” Rendering Them Exempt Companions

Though the USDOL’s new rule regarding overtime-eligibility for home care workers is currently in force, pending appeal, litigation continues over the prior rule. A new appellate ruling addresses the scope of the term “private home” for purposes of the prior rule, clarifying that the former exemption applies to caregiver work in the private homes of … Continue Reading

Ohio Federal Court Rules Home Care Agency Not Required To Pay Overtime To “Companions” During Temporary Vacatur Of New Federal Rules

Providing much needed guidance to industry employers still wrestling with fallout from the United States Department of Labor’s drastic reduction to the scope of the companionship exemption, District Court Judge Sandra S. Beckwith held this week that a home care agency properly relied on the temporary vacatur of the DOL’s new federal regulations in electing … Continue Reading

Ohio Federal Court Rejects Challenge to Application of Companionship Exemption to Home Health Aide

Last week, an Ohio, a federal judge held that a home health aide failed to demonstrate that she performed general housework unrelated to the care of her patients, and therefore qualified as a provider of companionship services under the Fair Labor Standards Act’s previous formulation of the “companion” exemption. As such, the home health aide … Continue Reading

When Will The DOL Issue Final Regulations Increasing The Salary Basis Threshold?

Since the United States Department of Labor announced its intention, in response to the President’s directive, to more than double the salary basis necessary to qualify for the “white collar” exemptions from overtime, the business community has swung into action. Employers and associations have both been lobbying for a more modest increase to the minimum … Continue Reading

Court Finds Employer Entitled to Flexibility Under FLSA In Determining Employee’s “Workweek”

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, covered employers must pay non-exempt employees overtime wages for hours worked in excess of forty in a workweek. To comply, while employers must define the workweek, they retain the flexibility to do so as they see fit, as demonstrated by venerable Brooklyn-based federal Judge Jack Weinstein in a new … Continue Reading

Home Care Fallout: Increased Institutionalization?

Five days into the DOL’s enforcement of the new rule rendering most home health aides eligible for overtime under the FLSA, questions abound regarding how state Medicaid and Medicare-funded programs will comply with the rule within their current budgets.  One new report cautions consumers of home health care and their advocates to be aware of … Continue Reading

DOL Enforcement of Home Care Rule to Commence November 12, Subject to “Prosecutorial Discretion”

Chief Justice Roberts’ denial of the Home Care Association of America’s request for stay of issuance of mandate confirms that the new rule rendering many home health aides overtime-eligible is effective, pending appeal. In response to that denial, Wage-and-Hour Administrator David Weil issued a new policy statement confirming that the Department’s “non-enforcement period” for the new rule will end on November … Continue Reading

Trauma Registrar Properly Classified As Exempt Administrative Employee Due To Exercise Of Discretion

Rejecting a claim that the position lacked “discretion and independent judgment,” an Indiana Federal Court recently found a trauma registrar for a Level III Trauma Center to be an exempt administrative employee. Brown v. Ind. Univ. Health Ball Mem’l Hosp., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141921 (S.D. Ind. Oct. 19, 2015). In Brown, plaintiff was a … Continue Reading

Oklahoma Federal Court Finds Expense Reimbursement Need Not Be “Rolled In” To Overtime Calculation

Fixed payments made on other than an hourly basis to non-exempt (i.e., overtime eligible) workers often must be included in the regular rate of pay for purposes of calculating overtime.  One type of payment that may be excluded from the regular rate calculation is payment for “reasonable payments for travel expenses, or other expenses, incurred … 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

Sixth Circuit Holds That Worm Farmers Exempt from Overtime Requirements of FLSA

The Fair Labor Standards Act exempts “employee[s] employed in agriculture” from its overtime requirement. Recently, the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit applied this exemption to the operations of an employer who “moved to the United States from his native France in 1992 to grow worms,” and affirmed the district court’s decision holding that … 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

Second Circuit: $350/Hour Sufficient Fee For Plaintiffs’ Counsel in FLSA Cases

One common impediment to resolution of FLSA claims is the amount of attorneys’ fees sought by the claimant’s attorney. One important factor in assessing an appropriate fee is the rate likely to be awarded by the Court should Plaintiff prevail in that jurisdiction. A new appeals court decision approves fixing that rate at $350/hour for … Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit Provides Guidance Regarding Occupations Which “Customarily And Regularly” Receive Tips

Attempting to provide clarity to a subject that is a regular source of litigation, the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has issued an extended, detailed analysis addressing the circumstances under which an employee’s position is “customarily and regularly” tipped for purposes of participating in a valid tip pool under 29 U.S.C. § 203(m). … 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

Court Rejects Nurses’ Generalized Claim of “8 to 12” Uncompensated Hours Based on Employer’s Time Keeping Protocols

The best defense for employers confronted with claims of “off-the-clock”, (i.e., unrecorded) work under the FLSA are accurate contemporaneous time records created by employees based on clearly communicated time keeping practices. The effectiveness of such records was recently demonstrated in Roberts v. Advocate Health Care, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103631 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 7, 2015). … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Affirms “Supervision” Doctrine Vis a Vis FLSA Settlements

Bringing some degree of clarity to the murky question of whether parties can dismiss a pending FLSA lawsuit on their own volition, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has ruled that any dismissal with prejudice requires “the approval of the district court or the DOL to take effect.” Cheeks v. Freeport Pancake House, … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Holds That Contract Attorney Properly Alleged Misclassification Claim

Reversing Judge Richard J. Sullivan’s 2014 decision, a panel of the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled today that a contract attorney who provided document review services on a multi-district litigation for a law firm through a third party staffing firm colorably alleged an FLSA violation based on his assertion that the document … Continue Reading
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