Recent Blog Posts
- U.S. DOL Issues Three Opinion Letters After Nine-Year Hiatus Continue Reading… On April 12, 2018, the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued the first Opinion Letters since the Bush administration, as well as a new Fact Sheet. The Obama administration formally abandoned Opinion Letters in 2010, but Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta has restored the practice of issuing these guidance documents. Opinion Letters, as Secretary Acosta states in the DOL’s April 12 press release, are meant to explain “how an agency will apply the law... More
- Initial Discovery Guidelines May Fast-Track Early Disclosure Requirements in Individual FLSA Cases Continue Reading… Depending on the jurisdictions within which they operate, certain employers and their counsel will soon see a significant change in early mandatory discovery requirements in individual wage-hour cases brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).
A new set of initial discovery protocols recently published by the Federal Judicial Center (“FJC”), entitled Initial Discovery Protocols For Fair Labor Standards Act Cases Not Pleaded As Collective Actions (“FLSA Protocols”), available here, expands a party’s initial disclosure requirements to include additional documents and... More
- U.S. DOL Announces Proposed Rule to Partially Rescind Tip Pool Regulations Continue Reading… Federal regulations have long provided that employees whose wages are subject to a tip credit must retain all tips they receive, with the exception that customarily tipped employees — i.e. front-of the-house service employees — are permitted to share in tips received.
In 2011, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) amended its tip regulations to limit tip pool participation to front-of-the-house employees regardless of whether a tip credit was applied to their wages.
Employers and hospitality industry advocacy groups reacted by filing... More
- Overtime Rule Remains in Limbo as Fifth Circuit Grants the DOL’s Request for Another Extension Continue Reading… As many will recall, the Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) overtime rule, increasing the salary threshold for overtime exemptions at the behest of the Obama administration, was scheduled to take effect on December 1, 2016. Months later, it remains in limbo before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal. And it apparently will remain in limbo for at least several more months.
After publication of the final overtime rule on May 23, 2016, two lawsuits were filed by a coalition of 21 states... More
- Decision Enjoining Federal Overtime Rule Changes Will Not Affect Proposed Increases Under New York State’s Overtime Laws Continue Reading… As we recently reported on our Wage & Hour Defense Blog, on November 22, 2016, a federal judge in the Eastern District of Texas issued a nationwide preliminary injunction enjoining the U.S. Department of Labor from implementing its new overtime exemption rule that would have more than doubled the current salary threshold for the executive, administrative, and professional exemptions and was scheduled to take effect on December 1, 2016. To the extent employers have not already increased exempt employees’ salaries or... More
- The DOL Focuses on Joint-Employer Liability Continue Reading… On January 20, 2016, the DOL issued Wage and Hour Division Administrator’s Interpretation 2016-1 (“AI”) providing that businesses that use employees of third parties may be considered “joint employers” of those workers for purposes of compliance with the FLSA. The genesis of the joint-employment AI is the DOL’s expectation that businesses may seek to avoid the high costs and potential liabilities of maintaining their own employee workforce.
Although this AI is less than a year old, there are longstanding federal regulations... More
- DOL Final White Collar Exemption Rule to Take Effect on December 1, 2016 Continue Reading… Nearly a year after the Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to address an increase in the minimum salary for white collar exemptions, the DOL has announced its final rule, to take effect on December 1, 2016.
While the earlier notice had indicated that the salary threshold for the executive, administrative, and professional exemption would be increased from $23,660 ($455 per week) to $50,440 ($970 per week), the final rule will not raise the threshold that far. ... More
- What’s Behind the 2015 Increase in FLSA Lawsuits? Continue Reading… As we mentioned earlier this week, I was recently interviewed on our firm’s new video program, Employment Law This Week. The show has now released “bonus footage” from that episode – see below.
I elaborate on some of the reasons behind this year’s sharp increase in federal wage-and-hour suits: worker-friendly rules, increased publicity around minimum wage and overtime issues, and the difficulties of applying an outdated law to today’s “gig” economy.
- Epstein Becker Green’s Wage and Hour Leaders Discuss Hot Button Issues at 34th Annual Workforce Management Briefing Continue Reading… On October 15, 2015, Epstein Becker Green hosted its 34th Annual Workforce Management Briefing, which featured senior officials from the U.S. Department of Labor and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. This year’s briefing boasted a record setting attendance, including industry leaders, general counsel and senior human resources professionals, many of whom attended the briefing workshop, Wage and Hour Compliance: You Are Not Exempt.
The Wage and Hour workshop featured three of Epstein Becker Green’s wage and hour practice attorneys — Michael... More
- Proposed DOL Rule To Make More White Collar Employees Eligible For Overtime Pay Continue Reading… More than a year after its efforts were first announced, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) has finally announced its proposed new rule pertaining to overtime. And that rule, if implemented, will result in a great many “white collar” employees previously treated as exempt becoming eligible for overtime pay for work performed beyond 40 hours in a workweek – or receiving salary increases in order that their exempt status will continue.
In 2014, President Obama directed the DOL to enhance the... More