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Recent Blog Posts

  • During the Covid-19 pandemic, companies should focus in the first instance on health and safety issues for workers, customers, and the public at large during a pandemic, but they cannot lose sight of the wage and hour risks that are lurking in these challenging times. For a staggering number of U.S. businesses over the past several weeks, the early and middle part of 2020 will look something like this: Reduced customer demand or government-ordered site closures lead to furloughs or layoffs of... More
  • For the second time this week, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (“WHD”) has issued a Final Rule involving the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (the “FLSA”).  Following closely on the heels of the revisions to the section 7(i) exemption regulations discussed here, on May 20, 2020 WHD released its revisions to the regulations regarding the “fluctuating workweek” method of paying overtime to salaried non-exempt employees.  And, as with the 7(i) Final Rule, the... More
  • From the time of its original enactment in 1938, the Fair Labor Standards Act has contained an exemption for certain employees of a “retail or service establishment.”  In 1961, the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (“WHD”) issued interpretive guidance to aid in determining whether an establishment is or is not “retail or service” for purposes of what was then the section 13(a)(2) overtime and minimum wage exemption.  Part of the test includes whether the business is in an... More
  • On Thursday, January 16, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (“WHD”) published in the Federal Register the much-anticipated Final Rule regarding joint employer status under the Fair Labor Standards Act.  This rule completes the rulemaking process initiated in early April of last year, when WHD published its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”), which we discussed here. The new standards reflected in the Final Rule become effective, barring court action in the interim, on March 16, 2020.  This... More
  • As winter once again approaches, employers, particularly those in cold-weather states, face the recurring specter of inclement weather affecting business operations and employee attendance.  While the weather may create stress and disruption for a business and its people, employers must not lose sight of the fact that the rules governing how you pay your employees continue to apply throughout any weather event. There are five main rules that employers need to keep in mind when bad weather strikes: 1. If a business... More
  • On December 16, 2019, the United States Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (“WHD”) published in the Federal Register a Final Rule updating the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) regulations that govern, among other things, whether certain types of pay and benefits constitute part of a non-exempt employee’s regular rate of pay for purposes of calculating overtime under federal law.  Under section 7(e) of the FLSA, an employee’s regular rate for any given workweek “shall be deemed to include... More
  • For the past four-plus years, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) has actively pursued revisions to the compensation requirements for the executive, administrative, and professional exemptions to the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime requirement.  On September 24, 2019, DOL issued its Final Rule implementing the following changes, effective January 1, 2020: The new general minimum salary for these exemptions increases from the current level of $455 per week ($23,660 per year) to $684 per week ($35,568 per year). The new minimum annual... More
  • Connecticut appears poised to become the next state to raise its minimum wage to $15 per hour, following the trend set by California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and most recently Maryland, in addition to numerous local jurisdictions.  Governor Ed Lamont is expected to sign H.B. 5004, which passed the state’s House and Senate earlier this month. Under the bill, the state’s current minimum wage of $10.10 will increase to $11 on October 1, 2019. From there, it will increase... More
  • As we previously shared in this blog, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (“WHD”) issued an opinion letter in November 2018 changing the Department’s position regarding whether and when an employer with tipped employees, such as a restaurant, can pay an employee a tipped wage less than the federal minimum wage. The issue was whether an employer must pay a tipped employee the full minimum wage for time spent performing what the industry calls “side work”: tasks such... More
  • On February 1, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor publicly designated Keith Sonderling as Acting Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division (“WHD”).  He joined WHD in September 2017 as a Senior Policy Advisor, receiving a promotion to Deputy Administrator last month.  Before joining the Department, he was a shareholder in the Gunster law firm in West Palm Beach, Florida, where he represented businesses in labor and employment matters. During his time with WHD, Sonderling has been a strong proponent of... More