Thursday, May 19, 2016

Department of Labor Issues Final Rule Updating Overtime Regulations

by Salvatore Gangemi, Esq.

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) issued its Final Rule modifying overtime requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"). The Final Rule makes material changes to the application of overtime exemptions, and will take effect on December 1, 2016.

In 2014, President Obama directed the Secretary of Labor to simplify and modernize the overtime rules to make them easier for employees and employers to understand and apply.

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Monday, December 14, 2015

New Overtime Rules' Implementation Substantially Delayed

by Adair Buckner, Esq.

Earlier this year, I predicted we would have to deal with the new Department Of Labor (DOL) regulations defining who can be classified as exempt on January 1, 2016. However, after the proposed regulations were released on June 30, 2015, a massive number of public comments came in.

DOL now is projecting it will not issue the final regulation implementing the changes until mid to late 2016. The enforcement cannot begin for 30 to 60 days after the final rules are published. So, employers may have until late 2016 or early 2017 to deal with these new rules.

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Thursday, October 15, 2015

Is Anyone Still Using Unpaid Interns?

by Jonathan T. Hyman, Esq.

I've been cautioning about the use of unpaid interns almost as long as my blog has been a blog (here, here, and here, for example). Last month, the 11th Circuit, in Schumann v. Collier Anesthesia [pdf], became the third federal appellate court to cast aside the DOL's six-factor internship analysis for a stricter "primary beneficiary" test (joining the 6th Circuit and 2nd Circuit).

In Schumann, the court questioned the employer's use of unpaid student registered nurse anesthetists participating in a clinic program as part of their master's degree curriculum.

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Monday, September 21, 2015

Six Options for Complying with New DOL FLSA Salary Rules

by Ron Flowers, Esq.

It is rare for an employee's salary to double with one raise, yet, under the Department of Labor's proposed rule, employers will need to double some employees' salaries to continue to pay them salaries without overtime.

By now, everyone has heard of the Department of Labor's proposed rule increasing the required weekly salary to $970 per week, or $50,440.00 annually, for employees to be exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act's (FLSA's) overtime provisions under most of the "white collar" exemptions.

The proposed rule was published in the Federal Register on July 6, 2015, and the 60-day comment period expired on September 4, 2015. Although more than 250,000 comments were submitted to the DOL, the final rule is anticipated to closely resemble the proposed rule. The Administration is expected to act fairly quickly finalizing the rule, so employers can expect the final rule to be published and the changes to be implemented in early to middle 2016.

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Thursday, September 3, 2015

Putting Together the Puzzle on Off-Duty Emails and Overtime

by Jonathan T. Hyman, Esq.

Employers, I can see the writing on the wall, and it’s not looking good for your continued reliance on your non-exempt employees using their smartphones off-the-clock.

In the past few months, this issue has picked up a ton of momentum.

First, the Wall Street Journal ran an article entitled, "Can You Sue the Boss for Making You Answer Late-Night Email?"

Then, the Wage & Hour Litigation Blog reported that the Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division announced a request for information regarding "the use of technology, including portable electronic devices, by employees away from the workplace and outside of scheduled work hours outside of scheduled work outside of scheduled work hours."

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Monday, August 24, 2015

Are Independent Contractors on the Endangered Species List?

by Daniel J. Burnick, Esq.

For years, even decades, there has been discussion and thought in the employment law community that the concept of Independent Contractors would become extinct. Somehow, they have survived, although I believe that they are on the endangered species list. Recently, the Department of Labor released Administrator's Interpretation No. 2015-1, "The Application of the Fair Labor Standards Act's 'Suffer or Permit' Standard in the Identification of Employees Who Are Misclassified as Independent Contractors".

This document is a sign of DOL's intent to vigorously pursue its interpretation of the FLSA, consistent with other governmental agencies, such as the EEOC, who are also ramping up their agendas.

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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

President Obama Proposes New FLSA Overtime Regulation Raising Floor to $50,440

by Daniel J. Burnick, Esq.

President Obama, in an Op-Ed column in the Huffington Post, is proposing to raise the existing $23,660 threshold for which eligible employees are automatically entitled to overtime to $50,440. Concerning this increase, the President wrote:

"We've got to keep making sure hard work is rewarded. Right now, too many Americans are working long days for less pay than they deserve. That's partly because we've failed to update overtime regulations for years — and an exemption meant for highly paid, white collar employees now leaves out workers making as little as $23,660 a year — no matter how many hours they work.

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Monday, December 29, 2014

Supreme Court Says Time Spent in Security Checks Is Not Compensable

by Adair Buckner, Esq.

Security Check Time Case Decided

The U.S. Supreme Court just issued a unanimous decision in Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v Busk et al. (Dec. 9, 2014), which was widely called "the security check case". Warehouse workers had sued Integrity Staffing for uncompensated time they were required to spend in security screenings lasting up to 25 minutes at the end of their shifts while assigned to work in Amazon warehouses. The Supreme Court ruled employees do not have to be paid for time spent waiting for and actually undergoing security checks.

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Monday, December 15, 2014

EEOC Challenges Severance Agreements

by Adair Buckner, Esq.

Employers frequently will use a "Severance Agreement and Release" when terminating an employee as a means to head off possible post-termination legal claims. Such agreements always have been subject to stringent requirements to be valid and enforceable. In a number of different cases recently, the EEOC has challenged what have been standard release of claims provisions and other terms in such agreements, saying they violate the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and Title VII.

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Monday, September 22, 2014

Six Surprising Ways Smartphones Can Get Your Business in Hot Water

by Jeff Calabrese, Esq.

From the C-suite to the mailroom, smartphones have become a ubiquitous part of our work life. Smartphones (and other mobile devices) are actually fully networked computers with portals to your company's servers and data, as well as employees' personal activity. The benefits of these veritable Swiss Army knives of technology are obvious. But there are other, less-appreciated employment risks that businesses should consider.

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