Category Archives: Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

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The U.S. Department of Labor Rolls Back Obama-Era Guidance on Joint Employers and Independent Contractors

The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced today that it was rolling back an Obama-era policy that attempted to increase regulatory oversight of joint employer and contractor businesses. Courts and agencies use the joint employer doctrine to determine whether a business effectively controls the workplace policies of another company, such as a subsidiary or sub-contractor. … Continue Reading

Comp Time for the Private Sector: House Passes “The Working Families Flexibility Act”

On May 2, 2017, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1180, better known as The Working Families Flexibility Act. The bill proposes to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) to permit private sector employees to “bank” overtime hours for later comp time use. For example, an employee working 50 hours in a workweek could, … Continue Reading

Texas Federal Court Blocks New Salary Restrictions for Exempt Employees

On November 22, 2016, a federal court in the Eastern District of Texas issued a preliminary injunction blocking the Department of Labor from enforcing new regulations that would have drastically reduced the number of white collar employees who are exempt from overtime.  The disputed regulations were set to take effect on December 1.… Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit Holds Class Action Waivers are Unlawful and Unenforceable Creating a Circuit Split

On May 26, 2016, in the matter of Lewis v. Epic Systems Corporation, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held that an arbitration agreement, which required employees to submit to individual arbitration for any wage and hour claims against the company, violates the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) and is unenforceable under … Continue Reading

DOL Makes Last-Minute Tweaks to New Overtime Exemption Rules

In March 2014, President Obama signed an executive order directing the Department of Labor to revise its aging rules governing overtime pay for white collar employees.  The Department solicited comments from the public on an earlier draft in July 2015.  Yesterday, the Department of Labor released the final version of the new rules.  The new … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Holds that FLSA Settlements Require Court or Department of Labor Approval

On August 7, 2015, in Dorain Cheeks v. Freeport Pancake House, Inc., 796 F.3d 199 (2d Cir. 2015), the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) is an “applicable federal statute” within the meaning of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(a)(1)(A)(ii) (“Rule 41”). The practical … Continue Reading

DOL Says Most Independent Contractors Actually Employees

In furtherance of its agenda to extend minimum wage and other wage-hour protections as broadly as possible, on July 15, 2015, the Department of Labor issued a far-reaching interpretive memorandum expressing the DOL’s belief that “most workers [classified as independent contractors] are employees under the FLSA’s broad definitions.”… Continue Reading

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

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 minimum salary necessary for a worker to be classified as “exempt” from the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) overtime regulations.  … Continue Reading

What is Retaliation in the Second Circuit Under the FLSA?

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 a retaliation claim under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).  While … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Holds Agency Interpretations Are Not Subject To Notice-and-Comment Rulemaking Requirement

In 2004, the DOL revamped its regulations regarding the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) administrative exemption.  In 2006, the Bush DOL issued an opinion letter finding that mortgage loan officers qualified for the administrative exemption.  In 2010, the Obama DOL withdrew the 2006 opinion letter and issued an Administrator’s Interpretation finding that mortgage loan officers … Continue Reading

The California Supreme Court Holds That Certain Security Guards Must Be Paid to Sleep

On December 31, 2014, the California Supreme Court held in Mendiola v. CPS Security Solutions, Inc. (Case No. S212704) that security guards who work shifts of 24 or more hours under Wage Order 4 must be compensated for their sleep time.  The Court also held that, under the particular facts of the case, the security … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Rules that Security Screening Time is Non-Compensable Under Federal Law and The Portal-to-Portal Act

In a decision issued on Tuesday, December 9, 2014, the United States Supreme Court ruled that employees are not entitled to compensation under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) for the time they spend waiting to undergo, and actually do undergo, security screenings.  The Court’s unanimous decision in Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk, … Continue Reading

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

On November 12, 2014, in Greg Landers v. Quality Communications Inc., the Ninth Circuit clarified a previously unsettled point of law by confirming that Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) pleadings must meet the specificity requirements established in the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007) and Ashcroft v. … Continue Reading

Southern District Magistrate Judge Clarifies FLSA “Computer Professional” Exemption

In an April 2014 decision in the Southern District of New York, Olorode v. Streamingedge, Inc., No. 11 Civ. 6934 (GBD) (AJP) (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 29, 2014), employers were given some clarification on the Computer Professional overtime exemption available under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).  As courts in the Second Circuit have not often had … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Finds that Entry-Level Audit Associates at Accounting Firm are Exempt from Federal Overtime Requirements

In Pippins v. KPMG LLP, No. 13-889 (2d Cir. July 22, 2014), the Second Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously held that entry-level audit associates (“Plaintiffs”) at KPMG LLP qualify for the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (“FLSA”) “learned professionals” overtime exemption.  The Second Circuit explained that, while the closely-supervised employees were “the most junior members” of … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Holds That The Fair Labor Standards Act Does Not Bar The Enforcement of Class Action Waivers

Over the past week, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (“Second Circuit”) has issued two decisions in which it affirmatively held that: (i) a plaintiff cannot use the “effective vindication doctrine” to invalidate a class action waiver of claims brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”); and (ii) the FLSA … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Rules that a “Bare-Bones” Complaint Rephrasing the Text of the FLSA is Insufficient to State an Overtime Claim

In Dejesus v. HF Management Systems Services, LLC, No. 12-4565 (2d Cir. Aug. 5, 2013), the Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of plaintiff Ramona Dejesus’ (“Plaintiff”) Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and New York Labor Law (“NYLL”) overtime claims, finding that Plaintiff’s complaint lacked the factual specificity necessary to plead an overtime … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Continues To Expand FAA Preemption

By Thomas Kaufman Do you hear that? . . . .  It is the wailing and moaning of plaintiff’s attorneys across the country. This morning, in a 5-3 decision (Sotomayor recused herself), the United States Supreme Court issued a pro-arbitration decision in American Express Co. v. Italian Colors.  The forceful opinion from Justice Scalia continues to … Continue Reading

E.D.N.Y. Judge Reverses Course: Rule 41 Stipulation of Voluntary Dismissal in FLSA Action Does Not Require Court Approval

On February 22, 2013, U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan reversed his prior decision that required a plaintiff to seek court approval of a settlement before her action under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) could be voluntarily dismissed. In Picerni v. Bilingual SEIT & Preschool, Inc., No. 12 Civ. 4938 (BMC) (E.D.N.Y. Feb. 22, 2013), … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Rules that the FLSA Does Not Apply to Claims for Gap-Time Pay

In Lundy v. Catholic Health System of Long Island Inc., No. 12-1453 (2d Cir. Mar. 1, 2013), the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, resolving what had previously been an unsettled issue in the Circuit, held that the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) does not permit a cause of action for “gap-time,” even when an employee … Continue Reading

Eastern and Southern District Courts Compel Plaintiffs to Arbitrate their FLSA Collective Action Claims on an Individualized Basis

In February, two New York Federal District Court decisions joined other recent federal cases in enforcing arbitration agreements that preclude employees from bringing their Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) claims on a collective basis and required the employees to individually pursue their claims in arbitration. See Torres v. United Healthcare Servs., Inc., No. 12 Civ. … Continue Reading

New 7th Circuit Opinion Explains Plaintiff’s Obligation to Have a Trial Plan to Maintain Class Certification

By Thomas Kaufman On February 4, 2013 in Espenscheid v. DirectSat USA, LLC a Seventh Circuit panel unanimously affirmed a Wisconsin District Court judge’s decision to decertify a large off-the-clock overtime class action. Judge Richard Posner wrote the opinion affirming the decertification and, in his inimitable style, he provides an easy-to-read dissertation on the limits of the … Continue Reading

Plaintiffs Must Offer “Significant Proof” Of A Common Policy Or Practice To Satisfy Commonality Under Rule 23 Post-Dukes

By Thomas Kaufman and Jason Guyser On January 28, 2013, Hon. George King of the United States District Court for the Central District of California issued an order in Pedroza v. PetSmart, Inc. denying class certification of exempt misclassification claims brought by a former PetSmart store manager. The opinion is interesting in that it contains … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Sides With Employers on the Outside Sales Exemption

By Thomas Kaufman (follow me on Twitter) On June 18, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a 5-4 decision Christopher v. SmithKline Beecham, holding that pharmaceutical sales representatives ("pharma reps") generally meet the FLSA’s outside sales exemption. While there are differences between California and the FLSA concerning the elements of the outside sales exemption, this case dealt with … Continue Reading
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