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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...

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...

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...

LinkedIn’s $6M FLSA Settlement Provides A Good Lesson To Employers

LinkedIn will pay nearly $6 million in back pay and liquidated damages to 359 current and former employees following a Department of Labor investigation, reports the DOL . The employees, reports Business Insider , are commissioned inside salespeople. Typically, inside salespeople are not exempt under...

"Jail 'Em" Says Pennsylvania Senator About Employers Who Misclassify

I've written here recently about the one-sided Criminalization of Employment Law . It seems that employees are getting tossed in jail while scofflaw employers sail off in their yachts laughing at the 99%. Well, at least one state Senator is doing something to balance things out. Senator Mike Stack...

Court of Claims: Late Payment of Overtime Wages Resulted in an FLSA Violation

by John E. Thompson A recent decision by the U.S. Court of Claims underscores important propositions under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act to the effect that: ♦ Failing to pay non-exempt employees the FLSA-required minimum-wage or overtime compensation by the next regular payday for...

Court "Certifies" Gawker Media Interns' Collective Action

by John E. Thompson After more than a year of litigation (the filing of which we reported at the time), former unpaid Gawker Media interns will be permitted to send notices to other unpaid or allegedly underpaid interns to inform those potential plaintiffs of the lawsuit and of the opportunity to...

Is This the End of the Independent Contractor As We Know It?

In Alexander v. FedEx Ground Package Sys. (8/27/14) , the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that FedEx’s delivery drivers are employees of the company, not independent contractors [an enhanced version of this opinion is available to lexis.com subscribers] . The opinion’s introductory...

Reminder: New York Interns Are Now Protected Under Both the State and City Human Rights Laws

by Lisa Lewis , Jonathan Sokolowski and Andrew Smith* Following New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio’s endorsement of an amendment to the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”) extending the statute’s anti-discrimination and harassment protections to interns earlier this year...

Ninth Circuit Rules That Twombly Standard of Specificity Applies to FLSA Pleadings

by Gregg Fisch and Ryan Duffy On November 12, 2014, in Greg Landers v. Quality Communications Inc. [ an enhanced version of this opinion is available to lexis.com subscribers ], the Ninth Circuit clarified a previously unsettled point of law by confirming that Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) pleadings...

Will The President's Immigration Initiative Spur FLSA Claims?

Lurking among the numerous considerations raised by President Obama's "immigration accountability" initiative are the prospects that this action will result in more allegations by or on behalf of the affected individuals that they have not been paid in compliance with the federal Fair Labor...

SCOTUS Returns to Unanswered Question from Symczyk

Remember the FLSA "pick-off" case? In Genesis Healthcare v. Symczyk, the Court held that if an FLSA collective action becomes moot as to the only plaintiff (before additional plaintiffs were added), then the entire claim becomes moot (and the case is dismissed) [ an enhanced version of this...

What is Retaliation in the Second Circuit Under the FLSA?

by Kevin Smith and Ryan Duffy On April 20, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed a long-standing precedent when it held in Greathouse v. JHS Security Inc. that an internal oral complaint could be sufficient to demonstrate protected activity and form the basis for...

Unpaid Interns and the Fair Labor Standards Act

by Joseph U. Leonoro With the arrival of summer, many companies are hiring college and high school students to work as interns during summer break. Often, employers do not pay interns at all, or only pay them a stipend or other amount which is lower than the minimum wage. From an employer’s...

Must You Pay Employees Who “Volunteer” to Use Social Media For the Company?

Work-related blogging is compensable time. Yesterday, I read the District of Hawaii opinion in Tagupa v. VIPdesk, Inc. . Tagupa worked for VIPdesk, a national concierge network, as part of its remote concierge team [subscribers can access an enhanced version of this opinion: lexis.com | Lexis Advance...

FLSA Section 13(a) Exemptions Comment Period Will Not Be Extended

by John E. Thompson There will be no extension of the original 60-day period for commenting on the U.S. Labor Department's proposals and requests relating to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's Section 13(a)(1) exemptions. U.S. Wage and Hour Administrator David Weil has so notified members...

USDOL Delays Its "Companionship", "Live-In Domestic" Enforcement

by Ted Boehm As we recently reported , the U.S. Department of Labor's changes in its regulations governing the Fair Labor Standard Act's Section 13(a)(15) "companionship" exemption and Section 13(b)(21) overtime exemption for "live-in domestics" are once again in effect...

Another Appellate Court Dropkicks the DOL’s Unpaid-Internship Test

“So, dynamic, Eric . Is there anything you can’t do ?” Oh, hey there. Didn’t see you come in. You probably didn’t come here to read about Law360 naming me one of the 20 attorneys who are killing it on Twitter . (You can follow me here ). No, you’re looking for...

Is Anyone Still Using Unpaid Interns?

I’ve cautioning about the use of unpaid interns almost as long as this blog has been a blog ( here , here , and here , for example). Last week, the 11th Circuit, in Schumann v. Collier Anesthesia [pdf] , became the third federal appellate court to cast aside the DOL’s six-factor internship...

Another Court Adopts "Primary Beneficiary" Internship Analysis

We reported in July that the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (with jurisdiction over Connecticut, New York, and Vermont) laid out seven non-exhaustive factors as part of a "primary beneficiary" analysis for evaluating whether unpaid interns are "employees" for purposes of the...

Nursing Mother's USDOL Claim Settled

by John E. Thompson The U.S. Labor Department reports that a temporary-staffing employee has received $1,152 in back-wages and unspecified "other damages" for what it contended was a violation of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's Section 7(r). Readers will recall our series of posts...

Compensable Working Time : FLSA :: Disability : Pre-2009 ADA

Think back to when you took your SATs, many years ago—number-2 pencils, plastic school chairs and laminate-topped desks, florescent lights, nervous sweat, and, the bane of many a high-schooler, the analogies that comprise so much of the SAT’s verbal section. Remember “dog : bark ::...

When Will The Exemption Changes Occur?

by John E. Thompson One of the most-pressing questions for employers at the moment is when the U.S. Labor Department will finalize changes in its definitions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's Section 13(a)(1) exemptions. Some have recently suggested that final regulations will be released...

Are Paralegals Entitled to Overtime Under the FLSA? Probably.

Last Friday, I had the honor and privilege of presenting at the Philadelphia Association of Paralegals’ Education Conference . The class was essentially a primer on the basics of employment law, during which I emphasized both the types of claims on which paralegals may assist clients, and the employment...