Tag Archives: seventh Circuit

Illinois Judge Holds that Individual Liability Under FLSA Requires Both Ownership and Operational Control

The definition of an “employer” under the FLSA is, like a number of FLSA provisions, not well defined, as set forth in a long and thoughtful opinion from Judge Manish S. Shah of the Northern District of Illinois. Schneider v. Cornerstone Pints, Inc., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166993 (N.D. Ill. Dec. 1, 2015). However, it … 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

Commissioned Sales Employee Not Entitled To Commission Payment Under The Plain Language Of Incentive Compensation Plan

This blog has stressed (most recently here and here) the importance of carefully drafting incentive compensations plans to avoid unintentionally converting incentive compensation into earned “wages” protected under state law.   Another recent decision, this one from the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reinforces the employer benefits of careful drafting. Lawson v. Sun Microsystems, … Continue Reading

Affirming Dismissal, Seventh Circuit Holds Window Washing Business Is a “Service” Establishment and Its Employees Are Paid on a “Commission” Basis, Bringing Clarity to Application of 7(i) and Sharply Criticizing DOL Regulations and Its Application of 7(i)

In one of the most comprehensive circuit court opinions to address application of Section 207(i) of the FLSA—the provision of the law that allows employers to comply with the overtime provisions of the FLSA by paying commissioned employees of a retail or service establishment at least 1.5 times the minimum wage, instead of their regular … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit Rejects Claim For Alleged Unpaid Wages Finding Construction Firm Lacked Actual or Constructive Knowledge of Alleged Work

While the FLSA’s “suffer or permit” standard is broad, it is not without limit.  Building on a prior decision, the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reviewed several purported justifications for imputing knowledge of alleged additional work asserted by a construction employee and rejected claims of alleged unpaid wages asserted by the former employee. … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit Finds Insurance Company’s Internal “Answer Man” Proper Classified as Exempt Administrative Employee

Continuing its line of common sense interpretations of the administrative exemption, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has ruled that an insurance company employee tasked with maintaining an in-depth understanding of particular insurance products and training sales staff on those products was an administratively exempt employee.  Blanchar v. Std. Ins. Co., … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Accepts Review In FLSA “Donning/Doffing” Case

On February 21, 2013, the United States Supreme Court granted another FLSA certiorari petition, in the matter of Sandifer v. United States Steel Corp.  In the underlying litigation in Sandifer, the plaintiffs sought compensation under the FLSA for time spent donning and doffing certain protective gear.  Although the time spent donning and doffing these articles … Continue Reading

7th Circuit Joins 3rd Circuit in Finding PSRs Exempt Administrative Employees

While the pharmaceutical industry is focused on the Supreme Court’s upcoming decision in Christopher, as to whether the work performed by pharmaceutical sales representatives (PSRs) for GlaxoSmithKline qualified for the outside sales exemption, another circuit court has weighed in on the duties of PSRs and their FLSA status in the context of the administrative exemption. The … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit: Magistrate Improperly Denied Serial Filing Plaintiff’s Attorney His Fees In FLSA Case

One oft-invoked disincentive to employers’ litigating FLSA claims (specifically non-class or collective claims) is the statute’s fee shifting provision: when a plaintiff prevails (however nominally), he is entitled to have his “reasonable” attorneys’ fees paid by the employer defendant (however the principle does not apply to a defense victory). In such cases, the individual plaintiff’s damages may … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit Affirms District Court’s Rejection of Child Labor Claim Based on Work Performed in Africa

Generally, employee-related liability for US-based employees flows from domestic statutes (such as the FLSA) while liability for employing workers in other countries typically flows from that country’s body of law. In a recent decision, the Seventh Circuit rejected an attempt by civil litigants who performed services overseas for a subsidiary of Firestone Natural Rubber Co. to … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Declines Request to Consider Whether Half Time Calculation Is Appropriate Method To Calculate Overtime Due To Misclassified Employees

As previously discussed here and here, several Circuit courts have recently upheld use of the “half time” calculation of damages in FLSA misclassification cases. Urnikis-Negro v. Am. Family Prop. Servs., — F.3d. —, No. 08-3117, 2010 U.S. App. LEXIS 16126 (7th Cir. 2010); Desmond v. PNGI Charles Town Gaming, L.L.C., 2011 U.S. App. LEXIS 702 (4th Cir. Jan. … 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

Circuit Court Reiterates That State Wage and Hour Laws Need Not Mirror FLSA

As discussed here, the FLSA contains a provision relating to the compensability of time spent donning and doffing uniforms, when the compensability of such time is addressed in a collective bargaining agreement. 29 U.S.C. § 203(o). However, even where a unionized employer through a collective bargaining agreement is not required to pay for such time, if the … Continue Reading

District Court Finds Commercial Window Washing Company To Be a “Retail or Service Establishment”, But Questions Whether Compensation Received Is a “Commission”

Litigation regarding what constitutes a “retail or service establishment,” under the “7(i)” or “retail sales” exemption continues. We recently reported a district court decision applying the exemption to employees selling precious metals. See La Parne v. Monex Deposit Co., 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59768 (C.D. Cal. Apr. 29, 2010).  Just a couple of months later, another district … Continue Reading

Supreme Court To Decide Whether Internal Verbal Complaints About Alleged Unpaid Wages Constitute Protected Activity Exposing Employers To Retaliation Claims

The Supreme Court, on March 22, 2010, agreed to answer a question that has divided the circuit courts of appeal—whether the FLSA retaliation provision protects verbal complaints made by employees or only written ones. The Court will review the Seventh Circuit’s decision in Kasten v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp., 570 F.3d 834 (7th Cir. 2009), where … Continue Reading
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