Apologies to John Steinbeck, but in some ways, both 2013 and 2014 have been the winters of FLSA plaintiffs’ discontent on the East Coast. Last summer, the Second Circuit (which covers New York, Connecticut, and Vermont) issued a number of decisions tightening pleading standards under the Supreme Court’s decisions in Iqbal and Twombly. In

crystalball25942067.jpgLast month, I wrote about the Obama Administration’s Presidential Memorandum to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) instructing its Secretary to update regulations regarding overtime protection for workers under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the federal law that establishes minimum wage and overtime pay requirements.  Since then, DOL Secretary Perez has spoken publicly about

On May 8, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would allow private sector employers to offer hourly workers the option of taking compensatory (“comp”) time in lieu of paid overtime.  The bill seeks to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act to allow private sector employers to offer comp time at a rate of

Guest Author: Lindsey Marcus

Supreme Court building.JPGSome good news for employers. In a recent 5-4 opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court held that collective-action claims brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) are moot when the named plaintiff has no continuing personal interest in the outcome of the lawsuit and no motion for conditional certification has been

iStock_SantaMoney.XSmall.jpgAs 2012 comes to a close, we inevitably receive questions related to year-end bonuses.  Last year, I posted about whether employers were required to pay a pro-rata bonus to those employees who left their employment before the bonus was paid out.  This year, I thought it might be helpful to remind employers of certain rules relating to bonus payments made to non-exempt employees.

Bonus Payments and Overtime

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires that overtime pay be determined using the employee’s “regular rate” of pay, which includes all earnings paid to the employee during the workweek.  However, the FLSA specifically provides that certain earnings may be excluded from the regular rate, including certain bonuses where:

(a) the bonus remains completely within the employer’s discretion, which the employer exercises close to the end of the period for which the bonus is paid, and is in no way required by any contract, agreement, or promise such that employees may expect the bonus, or

(b) the bonus payments are made pursuant to a bona fide profit-sharing plan or trust or bona fide thrift or savings plan; 29 CFR § 778.200(a). 


Continue Reading Don’t Forget to Include Non-Discretionary Bonuses in Overtime

money6694778.jpgWhile we generally look at overtime as a “wage and hour” issue, I am once again reminded of how overtime is connected to other employment statutes.  Recently, on an issue of first impression, the First Circuit found that the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows a prevailing plaintiff to recover lost overtime as part