The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) published a final rule addressing independent contractor status under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). Independent contractor status is a critical question under the FLSA because eligible employees are entitled to the law’s protections (for example, minimum wage and overtime for non-exempt employees) but independent contractors are not. Incorrectly
Department of Labor Publishes Final Rule Regarding Tip Pools and Tip Credits
After a lengthy and contentious rulemaking process, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) published its final rule revising its tipped-employee regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) last week. The new rules take effect 60 days from their publication in the Federal Register, which will occur shortly. Here is a summary of the new rules’…
Department of Labor Narrows FFCRA Exemption for Health Care Providers and Affirms Guidance Regarding Intermittent Leave
The Department of Labor (DOL) recently modified its guidance regarding leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). These changes pertain most significantly to the applicability of FFCRA leave to employees of health care providers and the intermittent use of FFCRA. The changes – which take effect on September 16, 2020 – are a response, in part, to a recent New York federal district court opinion invalidating some of the DOL’s prior guidance. (See here.)
Here’s what you need to know about the DOL’s new guidance:
Health Care Providers. The DOL narrowed the applicability of the FFCRA exemption for health care providers. Under the new guidance, not all employees of health care providers are exempt from FFCRA. Only the following employees may be excluded: (1) licensed doctors of medicine, nurse practitioners, chiropractors, dentists, and others permitted to issue FMLA certifications under 29 C.F.R. 825.125; and (2) employees who provide diagnostic, preventive, or treatment services, or “other services that are integrated with and necessary to the provision of patient care and, if not provided, would adversely impact patient care.” This exemption includes, among others, nurses, medical technicians, and laboratory technicians. We recommend that health care providers seeking to exempt some employees from FFCRA talk to their legal counsel about whether the exemption applies.
The DOL encourages health care providers to minimize use of the exemption to the extent possible in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Employers may choose to allow some types of FFCRA leave (e.g., leave for employees with COVID-19 symptoms) and not others (e.g., childcare leave).
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Another Setback for Student Athletes … or Is It?
On December 5, 2016, Berger v. National Collegiate Athletic Association brought a major setback for those advocating that “student athletes” deserve to be compensated for their contributions to the multi-billion-dollar industry of college sports.
The plaintiffs were two former “student athletes” at the University of Pennsylvania (“Penn”) who participated on the women’s track and field team. Their lawsuit alleged that “student athletes” were employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and that Penn, along with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (“NCAA”) and over 100 other Division I universities, was violating minimum wage laws by not compensating “student athletes.” The district court dismissed their lawsuit, finding that the plaintiffs had no standing to sue any colleges other than Penn and that “student athletes” were not employees under the law.
On appeal, the Seventh Circuit affirmed the decision. Briefly addressing the issue of standing, the court found that the plaintiffs’ connection with the NCAA and other colleges was “far too tenuous to be considered an employment relationship.” Turning to the real issue—whether the plaintiffs are employees of Penn—the plaintiffs argued that the court should use the Second Circuit’s intern test to determine if they were employees. …
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Breaking News: DOL Salary Rule Blocked By Federal Judge
The Department of Labor’s controversial rule that required “white collar” employees to be paid at least $47,476 per year in order to be exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act will NOT go into effect on December 1, 2016 as planned (we wrote about the rule here). A Texas federal judge on Tuesday agreed with 21 states that a nationwide preliminary injunction was necessary to prevent irreparable harm to states and employers if the rule went into effect on December 1.
What does this mean for employers now? …
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Are You Ready for the December 1 Deadline for New Salary Requirements?
The Department of Labor’s new rule that doubles the salary threshold for “white collar” exempt employees goes into effect December 1, 2016. Under that rule, employees currently exempt under the FLSA as an administrative, executive, or professional employee must make a salary of at least $47,476 and meet the appropriate “duties test” in order to …
Recordkeeping: The Often Overlooked Element of FMLA Compliance
Most employers grapple with the better-known aspects of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), such as determining whether an employee’s illness constitutes a serious medical condition, obtaining required certification or providing adequate coverage for workers on intermittent leave. All too often employers focus on the leave itself and breathe a sigh of relief when notice is provided confirming the dates of leave or when the employee has resumed his or her usual schedule. But an employer’s compliance with federal law includes the obligation to maintain adequate records related to the leave. Failure to do so can have significant consequences.
What Records Must You Keep?
FMLA recordkeeping requirements can be found in a single regulation, 29 C.F.R. § 825.500. That regulation requires employers to keep and preserve records in accordance with the recordkeeping requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Records must be retained for no less than three years. Although no particular order or form is required, the records must be capable of being reviewed or copied.
Covered employers with eligible employees must also maintain records that include basic payroll and data identifying the employee’s compensation. Failure to maintain accurate records can have significant consequences for employers, who have the burden of establishing eligibility for leave. Accuracy is important: for example, the regulations demand that records document hours of leave taken in cases of leave in increments less than a full day. Lack of suitable records documenting when leave was taken can also doom an employer’s defense to claims for leave. Special rules apply to joint employment and to employees who are not covered by or are exempt from the FLSA.…
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When to Pay Summer Interns: FLSA Guidance You Need to Know
It’s that time of year again, here’s our post from last year from Matt Durham on this perennial summer concern for employers . . .
Certain things have become the recognizable signs of spring. Budding leaves. Flowers. Chirping birds. And summer intern resumes. Especially during a slow or recovering economy, HR professionals are likely to…
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…
More Federally Mandated Wallpaper: Federal contractors must post a notice of employee rights under the National Labor Relations Act
Once again, employers are being given an old line: we are from the federal government and we’re here to help you . . . with your office decorating. Shortly after his inauguration, President Obama issued Executive Order 13496 (the “Order”). The Order directed that all federal contractors post a notice to their employees advising the employees of their…