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NERA Reports on Latest Wage and Hour Lawsuit Settlement Trends

One of the most significant areas of litigation in the employment practices liability arena has been the employee lawsuits seeking damages for employer violations of federal and state wage and hour laws. But while these kinds of lawsuits remain important, many of the trends in the settlements have shifted...

Third Circuit Employment Law 101: Independent Contractor or Employee?

Back when I first started this blog, when I believed that my blogging success would translate into Aston Martins and beach homes, rather than “Can you please email me a copy of your FMLA PowerPoint?”, I had a series of “Third Circuit Employment Law 101″ posts. Well, I don’t...

You’ve Been Warned – Those Independent Contractors Are Probably Employees

Are you still using “independent contractors”? Get out of here – you know they’re really employees! On Wednesday, I did a very short “breaking news” post on the new Interpretation issued by Wage and Hour Administrator David Weil on when workers are “employees”...

Class Certified on Claim That Employer Lacked a Policy of Paying Meal Period Premium Pay

California courts unfortunately have issued a number of poor class certification decisions in wage and hour cases, and now there's another one to add to the list. In one of the most unbelievable class certification cases this author has read, the court in Safeway Inc. v. Superior Court (Esparza)...

Document Review Attorneys May Not Be Exempt From OT, Court Says

Uh-oh. Lawyers who do document review may not be exempt from the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act, according to a court decision issued yesterday. Large law firms and legal services vendors often hire stables of contract lawyers to do document review in big cases. Sometimes, the...

The Unintended and Unfortunate Consequence of Wage-and-Hour Reforms

Wage-and-hour reforms are all the rage. Yet, with reform comes a potential unforeseen price—businesses that simply cannot afford to stay in business. From Re/Code : Cleaning services company Homejoy is shutting down on July 31 after struggling to raise a big enough round of funding. The company...

Push to Raise Minimum Wage Picking Up Momentum

by Rich Ehisen Frustrated by a lack of success on the federal level, advocates for raising the minimum wage have in recent years instead focused their energies on states and specific cities around the nation. Those efforts have proven far more fruitful: while the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per...

By Hiking Salary Level For FLSA Exemptions Instead of Revising Complex “Duties Tests,” DOL Takes the Simplest Route to Regulatory Simplification

by Rodney L. Bean When President Obama directed the Department of Labor last year to make its Fair Labor Standards Act overtime regulations simpler for businesses and workers to understand, many observers expected the agency to propose comprehensive revisions to the confusing “duties tests.”...

We Thought It Might Be Getting Better … But Class Certification Is Still on the Rise

by Archana R. Acharya The explosion of wage and hour class action litigation in the last 10 to 15 years or so has shined a spotlight not only on wage and hour practices themselves, but also on the critical question of whether an employer’s practices can and should support class certification...

Comments to Proposed DOL FLSA 13(a)(1) Exemptions Already Being Filed

by John E. Thompson Nearly 1,600 comments have already been posted in response to the U.S. Labor Department's proposals regarding the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's Section 13(a)(1) exemptions. Not surprisingly, there is great concern about the magnitude of the salary increase USDOL has...

Another Viewpoint on Overtime For Undocumented Work Time

In Garcia v. SAR Food of Ohio , an Ohio federal court rejected an employer’s attempt to dismiss an off-the-clock wage-and-hour claim, because, even though the plaintiff had not reported un-clocked as “working time,” a fact issue existed over whether the employer should have known that...

Evaluating USDOL's Proposals: Avoid Dangerous Assumptions

by John E. Thompson & Caroline J. Brown Employers are of course continuing to evaluate the impact of the U.S. Labor Department's proposed increase in the minimum dollar amount for the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's Section 13(a)(1) exemptions' salary requirement. However, judging...

“The Devil Made Me Do It” Is Not a Defense to Insidious Wage-and-Hour Violations

Late last week, the Department of Labor announced that it had filed a wage-and-hour lawsuit against Akron, Ohio, televangelist Ernest Angley and the for-profit buffet his church operates. The allegations are, to put it mildly, ugly. From Ohio.com : • Defendants improperly treated certain workers...

Companionship Exemption Changes in Effect

by Ted Boehm The latest twist in the ongoing saga involving the U.S. Department of Labor's changes in its regulatory provisions affecting the Fair Labor Standard Act's Section 13(a)(15) "companionship" exemption and the FLSA's Section 13(b)(21) overtime exemption for "live...

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...

Employee or Independent Contractor? Workers' Compensation Edition

Let's continue our tour through the different classification standards with the Pennsylvania standard for workers' compensation. You can also check out our previous episodes on unemployment compensation , and wage and hour . Now, back to business: While no hard and fast rule exists to determine...

Lawyers Who Review Documents May Be Eligible For Overtime Pay, Says Federal Appellate Court

On July 23, 2015, in Lola v. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP , No. 14-3845 (2d Cir. July 23, 2015) , the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, reversing the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York’s order dismissing the plaintiff contract lawyer’s putative...

2016 "Contractor Minimum Wage" Rate Released

The U.S. Labor Department has published the 2016 wage-rate floor required by President Obama's "Establishing A Minimum Wage for Contractors" Executive Order 13658 . The Order has been implemented through regulations appearing at 29 C.F.R. Part 10 . Both the Order and 29 C.F.R. § 10...

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...

Over the Next Three to Six Years, New York Raises the Minimum Wage for Fast Food Workers to $15.00 Per Hour

On September 10, 2015, acting New York State Commissioner of Labor Mario J. Musolino signed an order (the “Wage Order” or the “Order”) which (1), over a period of three years, raises New York City’s minimum wage for fast food employees from $8.75 per hour to $15.00 per hour...

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...

U.S. Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in Donning, Doffing Appeal

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey’s) A class action is appropriate only when classwide injury may be determined in a single stroke, the attorney representing Tyson Foods Inc. in a donning and doffing dispute argued this morning before the U.S. Supreme Court ( Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Peg Bouaphakeo...

Federal Appellate Court in New York Rules That Denying or Reducing Employee’s Discretionary Bonus May Be Unlawful Discrimination

On October 19, 2015, in Davis v. New York City Department of Education , No. 14-1034-cv, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 18115 (2d Cir. Oct. 19, 2015), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that “the denial or reduction of a discretionary bonus . . . constitute[s] an adverse employment action...

An Injury Without an Injury — Part 2? #SCOTUS and Collective Wage/Hour Violations

Can a plaintiff support a collective lawsuit if some of the individuals in the purported class have not suffered any harm? The Supreme Court took up this question during yesterday’s oral argument in Tyson Foods v. Bouaphakeo , a case that will go a long way to deciding the continued viability of...