Blog

Recent Blog Posts

  • 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
  • Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), employers can satisfy their minimum wage obligations to tipped employees by paying them a tipped wage of as low as $2.13 per hour, so long as the employees earn enough in tips to make up the difference between the tipped wage and the full minimum wage. (Other conditions apply that are not important here.) Back in 1988, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division amended its Field Operations Handbook, the agency’s... More
  • Changes to the white collar exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) are coming slowly.  Very, very slowly.  Back in May 2016, under the Obama Administration, the Department of Labor issued a Final Rule updating the regulations for the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime executive, administrative, and professional exemptions.  That rule would, among other things, have increased the minimum salary required for most employees within these exemptions from $455 a week ($23,660 a year) to $913 a week ($47,476... More
  • Three months ago, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, holding that the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) does not prevent the use of arbitration agreements with class and collective action waivers covered by the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”). (See our discussion of Epic here.) The Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has now similarly concluded in Gaffers v. Kelly Services, Inc., that the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) does not bar such... More
  • In most wage and hour cases, each workweek gives rise to a separate claim, at least for statute of limitations purposes. Thus, an employee seeking payment for alleged off-the-clock work or an independent contractor claiming misclassification and entitlement to overtime ordinarily may seek back wages and related recovery only for work performed within a set amount of time—usually two to six years preceding the filing of the complaint, depending on the jurisdiction—preceding the filing of the complaint. But what happens... More
  • For more than 70 years, the Supreme Court has construed exemptions to the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) narrowly. In A.H. Phillips, Inc. v. Walling, for example, the Court stated that “[t]o extend an exemption to other than those plainly and unmistakably within its terms and spirit is to abuse the interpretative process and to frustrate the announced will of the people.”  324 U.S. 490, 493 (1945).  The Supreme Court has restated this rule many times in the intervening years,... More
  • In a move allowing increased flexibility for employers and greater opportunity for unpaid interns to gain valuable industry experience, the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) recently issued Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2018-2, adopting the “primary beneficiary” test used by several federal appellate courts to determine whether unpaid interns at for-profit employers are employees for purposes of the Fair Labor Standards Act. If interns are, indeed, deemed employees, they must be paid minimum wage and overtime, and cannot serve as... More