Tag Archives: misclassification

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

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

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

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

Virginia Governor Signs Executive Order Establishing Joint Task Force on Worker Misclassification and Payroll Fraud

Virginia employers may see more robust worker misclassification enforcement and enhanced cooperation between state agencies with respect to misclassification issues in the near future.  Following the lead of the federal government and other states, Governor Terry McAuliffe’s recent Executive Order, signed on August 14, 2014, calls for the establishment of an interagency task force on … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Rejects Plaintiff’s Tolling, Willfulness Arguments

Reviewing a district court’s dismissal of FLSA claims which were not timely filed within the FLSA’s two-year limitations period for non-willful violations, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit found no error in the lower court’s two findings that: 1) plaintiff failed to create a question of fact as to willfulness in order to … Continue Reading

Ohio Judge Finds Dispatchers to be Exempt Administrative Employees

Cases upholding the exempt status of dispatchers pursuant to the administrative exemption of the FLSA generally have focused on whether the position requires the performance of decision-making duties and analysis “beyond mere communication and tracking of vehicles.”  A new decision builds on that analysis.  Wade v. Werner Trucking Co., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35653 (S.D. … Continue Reading

New York Legislature’s Second “Fair Play Act” Enacted to Cover Commercial Goods Transportation Industry

On the heels of similar legislation passed in 2010 for the construction industry, and consistent with the state’s continuing focus on alleged misclassification of service providers as independent contractors, the New York state legislature recently passed the Transportation Industry Fair Play Act, N.Y. Labor Law § 862 et seq.  This legislation creates a “presumption of … Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit Reiterates Appropriate Calculation of Damages For Employees Misclassified as Exempt

In a decision issued on August 16, 2013, the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, building on its now-venerable ruling in Blackmon v. Brookshire Grocery Co., 835 F.2d 1135 (5th Cir. 1988), reversed a trial court ruling that refused to apply the “half time” measure of damages in an FLSA misclassification case. Ransom v. M. … Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit Upholds Outside Sales Classification

The FLSA’s “outside sales” exemption from minimum wage and overtime is among the more straightforward exemptions, in that it contains only two requirements: that the employee be “customarily and regularly” away from the employer’s place of business; and that the employee primarily be engaged in making sales. This simple-sounding test does not preclude disputes regarding its … Continue Reading

Eleventh Circuit Addresses Undocumented Workers Right to Unpaid Wages Under FLSA and Calculation of Overtime Owed to Salaried Workers

The Eleventh Circuit has found that an individual who is not authorized to work in the United States can recover alleged unpaid wages under the FLSA, rejecting an employer’s argument that Supreme Court’s decision in Quality Inn in Hoffman Plastic Compounds, Inc. v. NLRB, 535 U.S. 137 (2002), bars such claims. In so holding, the … Continue Reading

New York Judge Rejects Interns’ Novel Argument That Paying School Tuition Is An Indirect Wage Deduction

In the latest chapter in the ongoing intern battles currently being waged in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Judge Harold Baer rejected plaintiffs’ novel assertion of unlawful wage deductions. Wang v. Hearst Corp., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3768 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 9, 2013). The Wang litigation concerns the applicability of the … Continue Reading

Ohio Judge Rules Insurance Investigators Exempt as “Administrative” Employees

As the volume of FLSA lawsuits remains high, the frequency of collective action trials – once unheard of – has correspondingly increased. On January 5, 2012, following a bench trial, Judge Edmund Sargus, Jr. of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio ruled that 91 current and former “special investigators” for defendant … Continue Reading

Red Cross Director Exercised Discretion and Judgment, Qualified for Administrative Exemption

Quantifying the necessary “discretion and independent judgment” required to qualify for the administrative exemption continues to divide courts, and the conclusion is often in the eye of the judicial beholder. This is especially so where discretionary authority must be measured without reference to monetary benchmarks or limits, such as those applicable to insurance adjusters or purchasing … Continue Reading

New York Federal Court Upholds Classification Of Funeral Director As Exempt Learned Professional

The highly technical requirements of the FLSA’s learned professional exemption often result in findings that employees traditionally considered to be professionals are non-exempt. In order to satisfy the exemption, the employee must utilize advance knowledge that is “customarily acquired through prolonged academic instruction” when performing their primary duties In a new decision highlighting this analysis (as well as … Continue Reading

IRS Signs Memorandum of Understanding With USDOL Focused On Worker Misclassification And Offers Amnesty Program

Of continued concern to governmental agencies – departments of labor, taxing authorities, workers compensation and unemployment boards – is the classification of workers as “independent contractors” and resulting exclusion of (and lost revenue from) such individuals from coverage under tax, benefits and wage statutes. Periodically, such agencies seek to coordinate their enforcement efforts with respect to … Continue Reading

Jackson Lewis Team Defeats Conditional Certification In Store Manager Litigation

Recently, we discussed the standard applicable to collective action certification of FLSA claims at the so-called “second stage”, which occurs after factual discovery. This is a more stringent standard than that applied to cases at the initial “conditional certification” stage, where courts apply a standard that varies from circuit to circuit, but is typically lenient. However, in … Continue Reading

California Legislature Adds New Penalties For “Willful” Misclassification As Independent Contractors

California, like several other states including Massachusetts and New York, has historically been harsh on employers which abuse the independent contractor designation, classifying individuals who are integrated into their business and function as employees as contractors for the purposes of avoiding tax and wage costs. In fact, Federal Express’ now decade-long battle with courts and agencies … Continue Reading

Massachusetts High Court Rules Treble Damages Provision Not Retroactive

While it is generally understood that decisions of courts apply retroactively (as interpretations of the law) while newly enacted statutes do not (as pronouncements of new law) unless expressly provided by the statutory language, challenges to these principles often arise, especially when the decision or enactment modifies recoverable damages. In a victory for employers, Massachusetts’ highest … Continue Reading

California Appeals Court Rules Law School Graduate Who Was Not Yet Admitted To Bar Was Exempt “Learned Professional”

The FLSA’s learned professional exemption provides an exemption from overtime for employees who have academic credentials in a field of “science or learning customarily acquired prolonged academic instruction” and who utilize this formal educational training in the performance of their job duties. Typical examples include doctors, lawyers, and certified public accountants, and doctors and lawyers need … Continue Reading

California Court of Appeal Upholds Applicability of State Commission Exemption to Sales Consultant

As we have previously discussed, the FLSA contains an exemption for commissioned employees in the retail or service industry who meet certain parameters: colloquially referred to as the “7(i)” exemption. California has a similar exemption which the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District recently applied to a sales consultant, holding that Defendant’s payments qualified as “commissions.” Areso … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit Upholds Pro-Employer Method of Overtime Calculation for Misclassified Employees

The Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to pay non-exempt employees one and one half times their regular rate of pay for any hours worked in a workweek in excess of 40. United States Department of Labor regulations, as set forth in 29 C.F.R. § 778.114(a), allow an employer to utilize the fluctuating workweek (“FWW”) method … Continue Reading

Different Circuit, Different Result: Fifth Circuit Upholds Independent Contractor Classification Under FLSA

As discussed here, here and here, the issue of independent contractor classification under wage, unemployment, tax and other laws is omnipresent, continuing to arise in litigation and legislative reform. In a rare victory for employers in this regard, this week the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals (encompassing Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi) affirmed a district court’s decision … Continue Reading
LexBlog