Minimum Wage and Overtime

Over the course of this and next week, we will discuss the final overtime rule’s impact and address related workplace issues on which employers should focus in advance of its December 1st implementation date.  Today we focus on the rule’s impact on non-profits and educational institutions. 

On Wednesday of this week, the Department of Labor announced its Final Rule, which is aimed at expanding overtime eligibility for millions of American workers.  At its core, the final version of the rule doubled the minimum salary employers must pay “white collar” workers to maintain their exempt status.  See our post here for a summary of the new regulations.

But what does this mean for non-profits, including educational institutions, which may be harder hit by these changes than private sector employers?  In short, generally the same thing it means for any other employer.

Continue Reading Where do the DOL’s New FLSA White-Collar Overtime Regulations Leave Non-Profits and Educational Institutions?

The wait is over!  This morning, the Department of Labor announced its Final Rule, which is aimed at expanding overtime eligibility for millions of American workers.  At its core, the final version of the rule doubled the minimum salary employers must pay “white collar” workers to maintain their exempt status.  The final rule did not, however, make any change to the job duties test.

Over the course of this and next week, we will discuss the rule’s impact and address related workplace issues on which employers should focus in advance of the rule’s December 1st implementation date.  We will also host a webinar.  For now, we’ll briefly summarize the key provisions from the rule.

Continue Reading The DOL Releases Its Final Rule Updating the FLSA White-Collar Overtime Regulations

My colleague David Barmak was featured in the NPR program, Marketplace in which he examines the negative implications of changing the white-collar overtime rules so that more white-collar workers are eligible for overtime. The program provides an overview of the rule and its impact on the wage gap and service industry.

California and New York have each passed laws that will gradually raise their state’s minimum wage rate to $15 per hour.  This is a stunning development coming just four years after a small group of New York fast food workers initiated the call for the increase.  The new laws will impact millions of Americans and put pressure on other jurisdictions and business to make similar increases in other parts of the country.  We briefly break down the new laws below.

Continue Reading California and New York Approve Phased-In $15 Per Hour Minimum Wage, Highest in Country’s History

The United States Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that Tyson Foods employees could use representative evidence to establish liability and damages for class certification purposes.  The opinion gives the plaintiffs’ class action bar a second victory in the Court’s current term, albeit a far narrower one than many commentators had feared.  (We covered the first victory here.)  Perhaps, more importantly, the Court sidestepped a seemingly more controversial issue regarding whether a class may include uninjured class members.  That issue will have to be decided another day.  We analyze the Tyson Foods opinion below.

Continue Reading Taking an Evidentiary Approach, the Supreme Court Rules that Employees Can Use Representative Samples to Establish Classwide Liability and Damages, But It Leaves Open Question of Whether Classes Can Include Uninjured Class Members

That’s what DOL Solicitor of Labor, M. Patricia Smith, reportedly said at the 2016 American Bar Association’s Midwinter Meeting.  But remember: she also said at another conference in November 2015 that the DOL was targeting a “late 2016” release date, while the DOL Labor Secretary, Thomas Perez, told Bloomberg BNA in December 2015 that he expected a spring 2016 release.  So which will it be?  Rest assured, we are keeping a very close eye on this and will keep you updated.

Last summer the Second Circuit issued an important decision that identified the proper test for determining whether an employer properly classified an individual as an unpaid intern.  The decision was a victory for employers because the nature of the test required courts to utilize a highly-individualized analysis of each intern’s experience, and therefore, it did not necessarily lend itself to class action treatment.  On rehearing, the Second Circuit has now amended this decision to clarify that the test is highly context-specific rather than dependent on the individualized experiences of each intern.

Continue Reading Second Circuit Amends its Unpaid Intern Classification Decision; Refines the Primary Beneficiary Analysis

The Fifth Circuit recently sided with an employer in an off-the-clock overtime case where the employee failed to comply with her employer’s overtime approval and reporting policies.  For employers, this decision highlights the importance of implementing overtime authorization and reporting policies to defeat these claims.

Continue Reading Fifth Circuit Rejects Employee’s FLSA Off-the-Clock Claim; Highlights Importance of Overtime Authorization and Reporting Policies in Off-the-Clock Cases

While we were in the midst of office holiday parties and end of the year celebrations, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals came down with two precedential decisions for employers to ponder in the New Year.  In Williams v. Genex Services, LLC, the Court analyzed the FLSA’s learned professional exemption, while in Calderon v. GEICO General Insurance Co., the Court analyzed the FLSA’s administrative function exemption.

Continue Reading The Fourth Circuit’s Countdown to 2016 Includes Two FLSA Classification Decisions

July 2016.  That’s when the final rule on the white collar overtime exemptions is expected to be published by the DOL – this according to the OMB’s Fall 2015 Unified Agenda and Regulatory Plan released last Thursday.  Just one week earlier the Solicitor of Labor, M. Patricia Smith, reportedly told attendees at a conference that the DOL was targeting a release in “late 2016.”

Thus, given the continued uncertainties surrounding the timing of the release, employers should continue to take steps now to prepare for any changes to the rule, which, in its current form, would dramatically increase the number of employees eligible for overtime pay.  We, of course, will continue to update you about any developments.