On January 10, 2024, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) published its final rule that revises its guidance regarding the standard for assessing whether a worker is an employee or independent contractor under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). The final rule rescinds the DOL’s previous final rule that was published at the end of President Trump’s term of office in January 2021. As we previously reported in the wake of the issuance of the Department of Labor’s October 13, 2022 proposed rule, the final rule returns to a totality-of-the-circumstances analysis akin to the “Economic Reality Test.” This new final rule ultimately has the effect of making it more difficult to classify workers as independent contractors. The new final rule goes into effect on March 11, 2024.Continue Reading The Department of Labor Issues New Final Rule for Independent Contractor Classification
On December 29, 2022, the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers Act (“PUMP”) was signed into law. PUMP further amends the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) by extending protections for employees who need to express breast milk at work. PUMP broadens the available remedies for violations and extends employee coverage requirements. The U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division (the “DOL”) recently issued guidance on PUMP’s requirements.Continue Reading The Department of Labor Issues Guidance for Employers Concerning the PUMP Act
The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (“FLSA”) created the right to a minimum wage and overtime pay. The FLSA also provides exemptions to overtime pay requirements for certain employees. Under the “bona fide executive” exemption, “highly compensated employees” are exempt from overtime if performing at least one qualifying job duty. However, on February 22, 2023, the United States Supreme Court, in its 6-3 decision in Helix Energy Solution Group, Inc. v. Hewitt, clarified that highly compensated employees paid on a “day-rate” do not qualify for this exemption because a day-rate does not satisfy the salary basis test.Continue Reading Supreme Court Clarifies a “Day-Rate” Does Not Meet the FLSA “Salary Basis” Test, Even for Highly Compensated Employees
The Third Circuit is expected to soon make a decision as to whether student-athletes can be considered university “employees” under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). But its interpretation of the law might reverberate beyond the confines of college sports and could implicate whether unpaid student interns must also be treated as employees.Continue Reading What the Third Circuit’s Looming Decision Regarding Whether College Athletes Can Constitute “Employees” Will Mean for Universities and Employers of Unpaid Student Interns
On October 24, 2022, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision in Cadena v. Customer Connex LLC, concerning whether the time employees spend booting up and shutting down their computers is compensable under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). Although the case arose out of a call center in Las Vegas, Nevada, where the employees’ principal duties included answering customer phone calls, this case may affect all employers whose employees spend time turning on their computers to work.Continue Reading Time Spent Booting Up Computers May Be Compensable Under the Fair Labor Standards Act
On October 13, 2022, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) published its proposed rule regarding the classification of employees and independent contractors under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) in an attempt to resolve inconsistent analyses amongst the Federal Courts of Appeals. The proposed rule would return to a totality-of-the-circumstances analysis of the “Economic Reality Test” (with a few modifications), which would have the effect of making it more difficult to classify workers as independent contractors.Continue Reading The Haunting Return of the Economic Reality Test: U.S. Department of Labor Proposes Resurrecting the Pre-Trump Era Employee/Independent Contractor Test
Last week, the ridesharing giant, Uber, secured a resounding legal win when a federal judge dismissed a putative class action lawsuit alleging the company violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by failing to pay drivers overtime. The ruling is enormously important, not simply for Uber, but for the growing rideshare technology industry as a whole.
Less than a decade ago, outside of calling a cab company and hoping for the best, the notion of reliably getting from ‘here to there’ via a few button presses on a cell phone was unthinkable. Things have changed. Uber—the now-ubiquitous application that allows patrons to hail various styles of ride—has wholly disrupted the transportation service industry. According to the latest estimates, over 160 thousand Uber drivers dot the roads. Those drivers provide approximately 40 million rides each month, and the company’s 2017 valuation reached $69 billion. The term “Uber” has become a verb (e.g., “I’ll Uber there”) analogous to “just Google it” or “xerox the document.”Continue Reading Uber Drivers’ Class Action Lawsuit Hits Permanent Red Light
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, instead of receiving overtime pay for those 10 overtime hours, roll those hours into his or her comp time bank for later use. Each hour banked would be banked at an overtime rate, meaning that in this example, those 10 overtime hours would be equivalent to 15 banked hours.
Continue Reading Comp Time for the Private Sector: House Passes “The Working Families Flexibility Act”
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 version includes a number of changes—some expected, but others less so.
Continue Reading DOL Makes Last-Minute Tweaks to New Overtime Exemption Rules