Category: FLSA

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DOL Demonstrates Commitment to Wage and Hour Violations with Launch of New “DOL-Timesheet” App

In a highly visual public expression of its commitment to wage-and-hour violations, and to encouraging employees to file wage and hour complaints, the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division entered the world of Smartphone apps when it recently launched its own “DOL-Timesheet” app for the iPad and iPhone. At first glance, the DOL-Timesheet App may … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Rules Oral Complaints Of Wage Violations Are Protected Under FLSA

Today the U.S. Supreme Court issued another employee-friendly opinion in Kasten v. St. Gobain Performance Plastics Corp., holding by a 6-2 margin that the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") anti-retaliation provisions protect an employee’s oral complaints to supervisors about wage and hour violations. This is the latest of three opinions this term that have expanded the … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Issues Split Decisions on Compensation for Travel Time and “Off-the-Clock” Work

  Employees who drive company vehicles between home and work will find little to cheer about in a recent Ninth Circuit decision . . . unless they live in California.  In Rutti v. Lojack Corporation, a three-judge panel refused to relax the rule that commuting time is non-compensable under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).   The employee, who installed vehicle recovery systems, contended … Continue Reading

2009 Mid-Term Federal Legislative Update

We expected many changes in federal labor and employment law in 2009 – for the first time in years, Democrats control the White House and both houses of Congress and have the political ability to make significant reforms.  However, not much has happened in 2009: we have only significant labor and employment bill signed into … Continue Reading

Managers Individually Liable for Unpaid Wages Despite Employer’s Bankruptcy

A recent case should strike fear into the hearts of all upper-level managers and human resources professionals:  in Boucher v. Shaw, the Ninth Circuit ruled that individual managers were liable for their subordinates’ unpaid wages, even though the employer company filed for bankruptcy.  In Boucher, a group of former casino employees sued the CEO, CFO and … Continue Reading

Federal Minimum Wage Rises to $7.25/Hour Today

If you pay your employees minimum wage, prepare to give them a raise effective today:  the federal minimum wage increases to $7.25 per hour, effective July 24.  Of course, you may live in a state that has a higher minimum wage; in that case, employers are obligated to pay the higher of the two wages.  … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit Rules FLSA Doesn’t Protect Verbal Complaints

Most employment lawyers and HR professionals know that firing an employee for making a complaint about being paid properly is a recipe for disaster.  This week in Kasten v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp., the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals thought differently, at least for verbal complaints about violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The plaintiff, Kevin Kasten, was … Continue Reading

DOL Secures $3.4 Million Settlement for NY Car Wash Employees

A portend of things to come in federal wage enforcment?  Yesterday, a group of New York car washes have agreed to pay over one thousand current and former employees a total of $3.4 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the Department of Labor (DOL) alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  Click here to read the consent decree in … Continue Reading

Federal Minimum Wage Increases to $7.25 Effective July 24

Employers take note:  the federal minimum wage increases to $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009.   For more information, check out the Department of Labor’s Fair Labor Standards Act site.  Of course, many states also have minimum wage laws, an where an employee is subject to both state and federal minimum wage laws, the employee is entitled … Continue Reading

Minnesota Wal-Mart Employees Get $54 Million Christmas Present

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced yesterday that it will pay $54.25 million to settle a class-action lawsuit over allegations that Wal-Mart made its employees work during break time and off the clock after regular working hours.  The class consists of approximately 100,000 current and former hourly employees who worked at Minnesota Wal-Marts and Sam’s Clubs between September 11, 1998 … Continue Reading

Washington’s Minimum Wage To Rise to $8.55 January 1, 2009

Washington employers get ready to give your minimum-wage employees a raise:  effective January 1, 2009, Washington’s minimum wage will increase to $8.55 per hour, allowing Washington to maintain the highest minimum wage in the country.  For more information, click here to read the Department of Labor and Industries’ Press Release.  Washington’s current minimum wage is … Continue Reading

Cosmetology Teachers, Not Day Care Teachers, Overtime Exempt

Cosmetology teachers, but not day care teachers, are exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act‘s (FLSA’s) overtime and minimum wage rules, according to two recent opinion letters from the Department of Labor. The FLSA contains an exemption for professional employees, including any “teacher in elementary or secondary schools.”  Cosmetology teachers qualify for the exemption, according to the … Continue Reading

New Federal Legislation Would Penalize Employers’ Use of “Independent Contractors”

The U.S. Congress is currently considering legislation that would impose significant penalties on employers who improperly classify employees as "independent contractors" to avoid paying for benefits.  The Employee Misclassification Prevention Act (S. 3648) was introduced in the Senate on September 29, and is sponsored by Senators Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and John Kerry (D-Mass.).   … Continue Reading
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