Recent Blog Posts
- Third Circuit Court of Appeals Concludes That Employees Must Be Paid For All Rest Breaks of 20 Minutes Or Less Continue Reading… It is a common practice for employers to provide their employees with rest breaks during the work day. (And in some states, like California, it is required by state law.) But under what circumstances is an employer required to pay its employees for break time?
In U.S. Department of Labor v. American Future Systems Inc. et al., the Third Circuit Court of Appeals was asked to decide whether the Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to compensate employees for breaks of... More
- Third Circuit Holds That Requirement to Arbitrate Disputes “Under This Agreement” Did Not Cover Wage Hour Claims Continue Reading… In Moon et al v. Breathless, Inc., the Third Circuit reviewed the dismissal of a class and collective action under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the New Jersey Wage and Hour Law and the New Jersey Wage Payment Law. The District Court for the District of New Jersey had dismissed the named plaintiff’s claims based on an arbitration clause in the written agreement between the her and Breathless, the club where she worked as a dancer.
In her lawsuit, the plaintiff... More
- Tips Do Not Count Towards the Minimum Wage Unless a Worker Qualified as a “Tipped Employee” Continue Reading… In Romero v. Top-Tier Colorado LLC, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that tips received by a restaurant server for hours in which she did not qualify as a tipped employee were not “wages” under the FLSA, and therefore should not be considered in determining whether she was paid the minimum wage.
Tipped Employees & the FLSA
The FLSA provides that employers may take a “tip credit” and pay employees as little as $2.13 per hour if: (i) the tip credit... More
- Missouri Supreme Court Rules That St. Louis’ Minimum Wage Ordinance Is Not Preempted by State Law Continue Reading… The Missouri Supreme Court has overturned a lower court’s ruling that St. Louis’ minimum wage ordinance is invalid, finding that the ordinance is not preempted by the state law.
St. Louis City’s Ordinance 70078 (“the Ordinance”) provides for a series of increases to the minimum wage for employees working within the boundaries of St. Louis. The plaintiffs argued that Ordinance 70078 was preempted by the state minimum wage law. The plaintiffs contended that state law affirmatively authorized employers to pay as... More
- Despite Expedited Fifth Circuit Review, the District Court Case Challenging the DOL’s Proposed Overtime Regulations Will Proceed Continue Reading… The District Court for the Eastern District of Texas has denied the U.S. Department of Labor’s application to stay the case in which the district court enjoined the DOL’s new overtime regulations. The DOL had asked the court for a stay while the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals considered an interlocutory appeal of the injunction.
As wage and hour practitioners know:
In May 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor announced that it would implement new regulations increasing the salary threshold for the... More
- Adjusting Wage Rates? Be Mindful of State Notice Requirements Continue Reading… Even employers who were opposed to the new overtime regulations are in a quandary after the District Court for the Eastern District of Texas enjoined the Department of Labor from implementing new salary thresholds for the FLSA’s “white collar” exemptions.
Will the injunction become permanent? Will it be upheld by the Fifth Circuit?
Will the Department of Labor continue to defend the case when the Trump Administration is in place?
What does the rationale behind the District Court’s injunction (that the language of... More
- Application of the FLSA’s Tip-Credit Requirements Remains Hotly Disputed Continue Reading… Over the past year, there has been an increased discussion of Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) requirements for tipped employees. The courts have focused on a number of issues related to tipped employees, including addressing who can participate in tip pools and whether certain deductions may be made from tips. While the FLSA requires employers to pay a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour in most cases, Section 203(m) of the FLSA provides that employers may take a “tip credit”... More
- Controls Imposed by Franchise Agreements May Support Class Action Claims That Franchisees Are Actually Employees Continue Reading… Claims that employees have been misclassified as independent contractors remain a focus for private plaintiffs and government agencies. Contracts that exert control over the business of another company may be a particularly fertile source of misclassification claims by plaintiffs seeking unpaid wages.
Two recent suits arising from franchise agreements with Jani-King, described by the Third Circuit as “the world’s largest commercial cleaning franchisor,” demonstrate the potential liability that can arise under these circumstances.
Wage Hour Division Sues Based on Misclassification of Franchisees
- Twenty-One States Allege the New White Collar Salary Thresholds are Unlawful Continue Reading… A group of 21 states (“the States”) has filed a Complaint in the Eastern District of Texas challenging the new regulations from U.S. Department of Labor that re-define the white collar exemptions to the overtime requirements of the FLSA. The States argue the DOL overstepped its authority by, among other things, establishing a new minimum salary threshold for those exemptions.
Pursuant to the new regulations from the U.S. Department of Labor, effective December 1, 2016:
the salary threshold for the executive, administrative,... More
- A Plaintiff’s ATM & Cell Phone Records May Be Discoverable When There Is a Particularized Showing of Relevance Continue Reading… Michael D. Thompson
In Gonzalez v. Allied Concrete Industries, Inc., thirteen construction laborers filed suit in the Eastern District of New York. The plaintiffs claimed they worked in excess of forty hours per week, but were not paid overtime in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act and the New York Labor Law.
To obtain information regarding the plaintiffs’ activities during hours they claimed to have been working, the defendants sought an order compelling discovery of their ATM and cell phone records.