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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...

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...

FLSA Exemption Changes: Some Compensation Alternatives For Salaried Employees

by John E. Thompson No one knows when the U.S. Labor Department will eventually implement revised definitions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's Section 13(a)(1) exemptions (we have covered these developments earlier). But whenever this happens, the new regulations are likely to: ♦...

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...

Classifying Employees as Exempt from Overtime May Become a Lot More Costly

This week, the Department of Labor announced proposed changes to the white-collar overtime exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"). If enacted, these changes will significantly impact employers. To qualify as exempt from overtime under federal law, employees currently must be...

DOL’s New Overtime Rules – How Will The Proposed Regulations Impact Your Business?

by Michael B. Steele The speculation is over -- on June 30, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published its long-awaited Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding overtime exemptions, after several missed release dates. The NPRM is in response to President Obama’s March 13, 2014...

60-Day Public Comment Period Commences On Proposed FLSA Overtime Exemption Rule Changes

by Marlene Nicolas , Rachel Tischler and Danielle Thompson* On Monday, July 6, 2015, in response to a March 2014 executive order signed by President Obama, the Department of Labor (“Department”) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) that will more than double the...

Evaluating the Impact of USDOL's Salary Proposal

by John E. Thompson The U.S. Labor Department has of course proposed a substantial increase in the minimum salary amount required to meet the basic compensation criterion for an executive, administrative, professional, or a derivative exemption under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's Section...

Beware Offering "Examples" in Comments to USDOL

by John E. Thompson Comments on the U.S. Labor Department's proposed changes in regulations defining the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's Section 13(a)(1) exemptions are, for the moment, still due on Friday, September 4, 2015. USDOL is considering including in the final version some additional...

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 ::...

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...