U.S. High Court: Labor Complaints May Be Filed Orally

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) The Fair Labor Standards Act's anti-retaliation provision applies to complaints that are filed orally and written, the U.S. Supreme Court majority ruled Mar. 22 ( Kevin Kasten v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corporation , No. 09-834, U.S. Sup.; See November...

Department of Labor Publishes New FLSA Rules Clarifying Tip Credit Rules and Limiting Use of the Fluctuating Workweek

by: David C. Burton & Igor M. Babichenko On April 5, 2011, the Department of Labor ("DOL") published a final rule [1] updating the regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"). The final rule, which will take effect on May 5, 2011, is particularly significant to...

Fourth Circuit Authorizes Retaliation by Prospective Employers Against FLSA Claimants

In a significant employment law case, the Fourth Circuit ruled last Friday that an employer may decline employment to a prospective employees due to her having made FLSA charges against a previous employer. The case, decided 2-1 over a strong dissent from Judge King, is Dellinger v. Science Applications...

Supreme Court to Hear Case on Scope of Outside Sales Exemption (and Hopefully Scope of DOL’s Power)

Do you employ outside salespeople (pharmaceutical reps, for instance)? If so, then you are going to want to pay attention to what will transpire at the U.S. Supreme Court next year. Yesterday, the Court agreed to hear Christopher v. SmithKline Beecham . This case will address two issues: ...

Off-Clock Work: "Flintstone" Laws in a "Buck Rogers" World

It seems like such an insignificant little case, but it's really a can of exploding snakes . An Illinois woman who was terminated after she was caught working during her lunch period has won her claim for unemployment. (The employer said that she was not terminated for working but for her...

KPMG Audit Associates Win Conditional Class Certification in FLSA Action

On January 3, 2012, in Pippins v. KPMG LLP , 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 949 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 3, 2012) [ an enhanced version of this opinion is available to lexis.com subscribers ], U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon issued an order conditionally certifying a national collective action against KPMG LLP,...

Supreme Court Rules Drug Company Sales Employees Are Not Entitled to Overtime Pay

In Christopher et al. v. SmithKline Beecham Corp., d/b/a Glasxosmithkline , 567 U.S. ___ (2012), No. 11-204, decided June 18, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, ruled that certain drug sales employees are to be treated as "outside salesmen" under the Fair Labor Standards Act ...

Despite what some think, employers also do not set out to cheat and steal

Earlier this year, I engaged in a debate with plaintiff's attorney (and author of the excellent employee-side blog, Screw You Guys, I'm Going Home ) Donna Ballman over whether discrimination lawsuits are sins of commission or omission. I argued that most employers are well-intentioned, but sometimes...

Will Home Care Workers Finally Get FLSA Protection?

Under the current version of the Fair Labor Standards Act (the "FLSA"), workers that provide companionship services, including home health care workers, are exempt from wage and overtime compensation requirements (the "companionship exemption"). On December 15, 2011, the United States...

The First Circuit's Application of the "Plausibility" Pleading Standard to an FLSA Claim

by Allen Ides Excerpt: In Pruell v. Caritas Christi , 678 F.3d 10, 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 7859 (1st Cir. Apr. 18, 2012) [ an enhanced version of this opinion is available to lexis.com subscribers ], the First Circuit ruled that a complaint asserting violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act ...

More Challenges From Hurricane Sandy: Wage-Hour Issues And Related Matters

by John E. Thompson In thinking-through and implementing their recovery plans in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, employers will want to review our August post summarizing a number of federal Fair Labor Standards Act issues that typically arise following a natural disaster. Readers will recall our...

Supreme Court Considers Whether Offer of Judgment Moots Collective Action

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) An employer's offer of judgment in an amount representing alleged unpaid wages plus attorney fees, costs and expenses under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 68 to an employee who brought a collective action under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) moots the collective...

Babst Calland Employment Bulletin Feb. 2013: Exchange Notice Requirement Under the Fair Labor Standards Act: How Does an Employer Comply in the Absence of a State-Established Health Benefit Exchange?

A little known provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the Affordable Care Act) amended the Fair Labor Standards Act (the FLSA) to require that employers provide all new hires and current employees with written notice of a health benefit exchange (Exchange) established in their...

“Full of Sound and Fury, Signifying (Almost) Nothing”: Supreme Court Passes on Larger Issues in FLSA Collective Action Decision

by Daniel D. Fassio Though traditional class actions have long been barred under the Fair Labor Standards Act, Congress provided within the statute a provision allowing "collective actions." The provision provided a vehicle for groups of employees with similar grievances to be represented...

Unpaid Internships May Be More Costly Than You May Think

What do fashion designer Norma Kamali, journalist Charlie Rose, Elite Model Management Corporation, and the Hearst Corporation have in common? All have been sued by former unpaid interns, claiming that their unpaid status violated the Fair Labor Standards Act. With the summer internship season...

Fox Searchlight Case Confirm That Unpaid Interns Are a Dying Breed

Out of the millions of page-views this blog has received over the six-years of its existence, the most popular post (by an almost three-to-one margin over its closest competitor) is You should pay attention to this post if you have unpaid interns . In that post, I discussed a lawsuit filed by two...

28 Ways to Avoid Breaking The Law When Hiring Summer Interns

It's that time of year. You're hiring summer interns and I'm shaving a spoked B into my playoff beard looking for an excuse to recycle my six keys to keeping unpaid internships from becoming a hot wage & hour mess . See what I just did there? Oh, you saw the lede and thought...

The 6th Circuit and the FLSA: Shortening the Time to Sue

Employers have used employment agreements to attempt to control the when and where of actions brought by employees. The courts have been receptive to the waiver of the right to sue in court where the forum provided, usually arbitration, is procedurally fair and provides the employee with safeguards....

Volunteer Firefighters are Employees for Purposes of Federal Law, Sixth Circuit Holds

Last week, a divided Sixth Circuit panel determined that "volunteer" firefighters who receive $15 per hour are employees for purposes of federal employment laws. Mendel v. City of Gibraltar , __ F3d __, 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 16922 (6th Cir, Aug 15, 2013) [ an enhanced version of this opinion...

Court Says Lactation Is Related to Pregnancy, Refrains from Saying, "Duh"

I wrote about a really stupid case out of Texas where a federal court said that "lactation is not pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition," and thus decided that "firing someone because of lactation or breast-pumping is not sex discrimination." I was irked, to say the...

Court Says Lactation Is Related to Pregnancy, Refrains from Saying, "Duh"

I wrote about a really stupid case out of Texas where a federal court said that "lactation is not pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition," and thus decided that "firing someone because of lactation or breast-pumping is not sex discrimination." I was irked, to say the...

Must Employers Pay Salaried Workers for Time Not Worked Under the FLSA?

by Keisha N. Jackson Riddle me (you) this: A salaried employee has worked for your company for just two weeks. He gets sick and misses one full day of work. He has accrued a small number of hours in his leave bank but not enough to cover the whole day. Are you obligated to pay the employee for the...

Department of Labor’s "Right to Know" Initiative Apparently Expanded

by John E. Thompson The U.S. Labor Department has announced another proposal to conduct a survey relating to "worker classification issues" under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. Readers will recall our posts about a similar USDOL notice published earlier this year. Both proposals...

Three Minor Leaguers Claim Major League Baseball Violated the Fair Labor Standards Act

When you think of minor league baseball, you may draw on movies like Bull Durham or The Rookie ; long bus trips from stadium to stadium where teams play in front of small crowds for small pay. Well, apparently, the pay may be small enough to trigger a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act As...

What Is It Exactly That President Obama Wants to Do to the FLSA?

So, by now, you've likely read the news, first reported on Wednesday night by The New York Times reporters Michael Shear and Steven Greenhouse that "Obama Will Seek Broad Expansion of Overtime Pay" . Messrs. Shear and Greenhouse indicated that, yesterday, President Barack Obama was to...