DOL image included with announcement regarding reinstatement of opinion letters.The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division announced today that it is bringing back the WHD Opinion Letter.

Opinion letters have long been one of the most useful resources for lawyers and HR professionals trying to figure out how to comply with the laws enforced by the WHD, including the Fair Labor Standards

Former link to AIs on U.S. DOL website returns "Page Not Found"
Former link to AIs on U.S. DOL website returns “Page Not Found”

On June 7, Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta announced the withdrawal of two Administrator Interpretations (“AIs”) issued under the Obama administration regarding joint employment and independent contractors. We previously discussed the AI on independent contractors here, and the

Yesterday, the United States House of Representatives passed a bill, H.R. 6094 (the “bill” referred to as the Regulatory Relief for Small Businesses, Schools and Nonprofits Act), that would delay the effective date of the Department of Labor’s new overtime rule by 6 months, from December 1, 2016 to June 1, 2017.  The Vote passed the House 246-177, with 5 Democrats voting in favor of it.  This is just the latest challenge to the DOL’s doubling of the minimum salary threshold for the white collar exemptions (executive, administrative, and professional) under the Fair Labor Standards Act.  Business groups, congressional Republicans and State Officials have all criticized the drastic economic impact such a measure would have on businesses.

Continue Reading House Votes to Delay OT Rule But Employers Are Not Out of the Woods Yet

US-Department-of-Labor-logo.jpgYesterday, a group of 21 states filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas challenging the Department of Labor’s new overtime rule, which is set to take effect on December 1, 2016.  The group challenging the rule is led by Texas and Nevada, and includes the following states:  Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, and Wisconsin. The lawsuit names as Defendants the DOL and its Wage and Hour Division, Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, and Wage and Hour Administrator David Weil, and Assistant Administrator for Policy Mary Ziegler.

As most know by now, in May 2016, the DOL issued its final rule establishing a new minimum salary threshold for the white collar exemptions (executive, administrative, and professional) under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This new threshold of $913 per week ($47,476 annualized) more than doubles the current minimum weekly salary threshold of $455 per week ($23,660 annualized), and is scheduled to increase every three years.


Continue Reading 21 States File Suit Challenging the DOL’s New Overtime Rule

Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in the Encino Motorcars, LLC v. Navarro case, that many hoped would resolve the issue as to whether Service Advisors at auto dealerships are exempt from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  As we reported back in January 2016, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a petition filed by an auto dealership, Encino Motorcars, challenging a Ninth Circuit decision holding that Service Advisors were not exempt from overtime pay requirements.  Encino asked that the Court “restore uniformity” in legal precedent and hold that Service Advisors are exempt from the FLSA’s overtime pay requirements.  Auto dealers were hoping that the Supreme Court would bring certainty to this issue and follow prior decisions from the Fourth and Fifth Circuits holding that Service Advisors are salespeople exempt from overtime, instead of following the Ninth Circuit’s contrary decision.  Although the Supreme Court ultimately vacated the Ninth Circuit’s decision, the Court’s opinion leaves the issue open to further consideration.
Continue Reading The Supreme Court Shoots Down DOL Regulations, But Declines To Rule Whether Service Advisors are Exempt From Overtime Pay Requirements

The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or the “Board”) has once again weighed in on employer use of confidentiality and non-disparagement language, this time in the settlement arena. Recently, the NLRB withheld its approval of a global settlement of Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) claims and Board charges, stating its objection to the negotiated non-disparagement and confidentiality provisions in the parties’ settlement agreement.

The employer, Liberato Restaurant, agreed to a $1 million settlement of an FLSA class action lawsuit brought by current and former employees who alleged non-payment of tips and overtime wages.  As part of the settlement, plaintiffs agreed to dismiss charges filed with the NLRB. The settlement agreement included promises by both parties to not disparage the other and not to disclose the terms of the agreement to the public. Such provisions are routinely included in settlement agreements, and have been accepted in settlements involving wage and hour claims.


Continue Reading The NLRB’s New Target: FLSA Settlement Agreements