Fair Labor Standards Act

Join us on Tuesday, May 16 for the final installment of our Entrepreneur Series in partnership with the University of San Diego. In the third session, “Employment & Litigation Avoidance,” panelists, including speakers from The Honor Foundation, Fairway Technologies, Patriot List and Mintz Levin, will discuss the nuts and bolts of workforce management and provide advice for structuring your business to avoid making mistakes that may result in litigation.

For more information and to register, please click here.

Over the next two weeks we will release our Year in Review segment, which will look at the key labor & employment law developments from 2016 in New York, the DC Metro Area, Massachusetts, and California while offering our thoughts about 2017.  Today we kick off this segment with New York.  In addition, please join us in NYC on April 6, 2017 for Mintz Levin’s Third Annual Employment Law Summit as we address some of the key labor & employment issues impacting employers in 2017.  Register here

2016 brought big changes for New York State and City employers, including expansive new discrimination protections and substantial increases in the minimum wage and exempt salary thresholds.  While New York employers who successfully navigated 2016’s rush of legislative, regulatory and judicial obstacles might feel they’ve earned the right to shift their focus back from compliance issues to running their businesses, they should not lose sight of the additional challenges expected in 2017.

Continue Reading 2016 New York Employment Law Year In Review

As all HR professionals and employment lawyers know (even those currently living under rocks), the Department of Labor’s final overtime rule is scheduled to go into effect on December 1, 2016 – less than two weeks from now.  The DOL published the rule back on May 18, 2016 providing employers with nearly 200 days to come into compliance.  Many have planned accordingly and are ready to go; others are finally focusing on this issue as the deadline nears.  At the same time, questions continue to arise over the rule’s fate.  In this post, we discuss the current state of play along with some compliance tips for employers.

Continue Reading Uncertainty Continues to Swirl Around DOL’s Overtime Rule as Employers Make Compliance Push

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

An unaccepted Rule 68 Offer of Judgment for complete relief does not moot a plaintiff’s individual and class action claims said the Supreme Court on Wednesday.  The decision in Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez is welcome news for employees and the class action bar, but it does not necessarily foreclose a “pick off” strategy often used by employers to head off class actions before they materialize.  Like it did in Genesis Healthcare nearly three years ago, the Supreme Court only went so far with its analysis, and this time in Gomez, while effectively ending the Rule 68 method, it left open the possibility that employers could pick off named plaintiffs by actually paying them the amounts allegedly owed.

Continue Reading Pick-Off Strategy Via a Rule 68 Offer of Judgment Suffers Stinging Defeat in the Supreme Court; But Can an Actual Payment to the Plaintiff Do the Trick?

While Americans everywhere were busy eating turkey and drinking eggnog last November and December, our government was hard at work attending to budget matters.  Tucked among the appropriations were several fairly significant items of interest to employers, employees, providers, administrations, and all manner of benefits aficionados.  We discuss them below.

Continue Reading Cadillac Tax Effective Date Postponed (and Three Other 2015 Year End Health and Welfare Benefits Legislation Highlights)

A Federal Appeals Court recently confirmed that under certain circumstances, parties may privately settle and release claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act.  A generic release contained in a settlement agreement won’t do it; instead, the parties must cite to a bona fide dispute regarding wages in the settlement agreement.  But this decision extends only to the borders of the Fifth Circuit, which encompasses Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi.  Most other circuit courts would not enforce such releases unless they were the product of an agreement supervised by a court or the Department of Labor.

Continue Reading Fifth Circuit Continues to Permit Wage Claim Waivers in Private Settlements, But Only Where a Bona Fide Dispute Exists

The Department of Labor has released its long-awaited notice of proposed rulemaking updating the Fair Labor Standards Act’s white collar overtime exemptions.  The DOL released the proposed rule on Tuesday morning and will invite interested parties to submit written comments over the next two months.  The revisions would more than double the minimum salary threshold for the law’s white collar exemptions, which the White House expects would immediately entitle approximately five million additional workers to overtime pay, and they also provide for future automatic increases.  We take a look at the proposal and its potential implications below.

Continue Reading Department of Labor Releases Proposed FLSA Overtime Rules Changes; Final Rule Expected to Impact Millions

As has been widely reported, President Obama has ordered the US Department of Labor to updated existing federal regulations on overtime in order to account for the changing nature of the workplace and to allow both workers and businesses to better understand and apply the exemptions..  Reports have centered on the expectation that the updated regulations will, in part, increase the salary basis requirement, which will in effect allow millions of workers to qualify for time and half pay for the first time.  Today, only 12% of salaried workers fall below the current threshold whereas it was as high as 65% back in 1975.

The administration had signaled that the proposed regulations would be ready in February.  That obviously hasn’t happened.  And just to give you a quick update, we have now learned that the administration has first submitted its proposed regulations to the Office of Management and Budget for review.  That Office typically has 90 days in which to review a proposed regulation, and it is also permitted one 30-day extension.  So it could be some time before the administration releases the proposed regulations to the public.  But they are coming and we will certainly let you know when they do.

In what appears to be a sign of things to come, a federal court in New York recently approved the use of social media to notify potential class members who were more likely to be reached that way rather than by more traditional forms of notice, such as regular mail.  The order permitting social media use comes on the heels of a similar order by a federal court in California.

Continue Reading New York Federal Court “Likes” the Use of Social Media to Notify Class Members in Wage and Hour Action