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The Legal Stuff
BT Currents - Hot Topics in Employment Law
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08 May 2017 House Passes Bill to Legalize Comp Time in the Private Sector

  Employers and employees may soon have more flexibility in how and when overtime gets paid. Last week the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Working Families Flexibility Act (WFFA), a law that would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by allowing employers to offer, and employees to accept, “comp time”­ instead of cash payment for hours worked over 40 in a workweek. “Comp time” is generally defined as paid time off that is earned instead of receiving cash payment for overtime. It is…

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06 Apr 2017 Lesson: Don’t Underestimate Court’s Ability to Change Its Mind Minor Leaguers’ Wage Suit Gets Certified and Comes Back From the Dead

  While Major League Baseball (MLB) can celebrate its new season, which began on April 2, the last pitch has yet to be thrown when it comes to addressing a minimum wage and overtime lawsuit filed by thousands of minor league players.   A lawsuit filed by a class of thousands of Minor League Baseball (MiLB) players in February 2014, which is part of a feeder system into MLB clubs, claims that minor league ballplayers are not paid the proper minimum wage or overtime. The…

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30 Jan 2017 Trump Administration Quick Hitters: Acting EEOC Chair Named, Chief of Staff Requests Regulation Freeze, and DOJ Requests Delay in Fifth Circuit Appeal of OT Rule

  It’s only been a week, but the Trump administration has already been busy making its presence felt in the world of labor and employment.   New EEOC Acting Chief   On Wednesday, President Trump appointed current EEOC Commissioner Victoria Lipnic, a Republican, as the Acting Chair of the Commission.  Originally appointed to the Commission by former President Barack Obama in 2010, her term is set to expire in 2020. Lipnic had previously served in a high-level position in the Department of Labor during the…

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21 Nov 2016 Using an Employee’s Social Media Posts to Prove Laziness? Think Again

  Is it permissible for an employer who is subject to an unpaid overtime claim to request an employee’s social media postings over a three-year period? The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida found such requests to be overly broad, unduly burdensome and unreasonable.   A sales representative sued her employer for uncompensated off-the-clock work. During discovery, the employer, Orange Lake Country Club, requested the following information from the employee:   All online profiles, postings, messages (including, without limitation, tweets, replies, retweets,…

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17 May 2016 Department of Labor to Issue Finalized White Collar Exemption Rule on Wednesday, May 18

Amid rampant predictions, late on Tuesday, May 17, the White House has announced that the Department of Labor’s (DOL) highly anticipated new white collar exemption rule will be unveiled on Wednesday, May 18.  The new rule will take effect on Dec. 1, 2016, giving employers more time than anticipated to plan for necessary changes.   According to the White House, “the new rule is expected to extend overtime protections to 4.2 million more Americans who are not currently eligible under federal law, and it is…

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19 Apr 2016 11th Hour Questions about DOL’s Overtime Rules

As the DOL’s final proposal nears reality, the expected economic impact is making some members of Congress very nervous.   Even supporters of the Department of Labor’s (DOL) upcoming overtime regulations (anticipated to be released in final form sometime soon)  are raising last-minute concerns about the regulations’ potentially adverse impact on businesses– small businesses in particular.   The expected revised DOL regulations on overtime will affect the exempt status of an estimated five million white-collar employees.  The DOL has proposed a salary threshold of $970 per…

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22 Jan 2016 Meowing Dogs and Barking Cats: Supreme Court Grants Certiorari to Determine Service Advisors’ Eligibility for Overtime Pay

  The Supreme Court recently granted certiorari in Navarro v. Encino Motorcars, LLC, after the Ninth Circuit found that the FLSA exemption for overtime pay does not apply to car dealership service advisors. The relevant FLSA exemption applies to “any salesman, partsman, or mechanic primarily engaged in selling or servicing automobiles.” Service advisors diagnose vehicle service needs and suggest additional services for the maintenance of vehicles. They are paid on a commission basis only, and receive neither an hourly wage nor a salary.   Car…

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30 Jun 2015 DOL FINALLY UNVEILS PROPOSED GUIDANCE AFFECTING OVERTIME

  Today, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) revealed a long-awaited proposed rule that is expected to make millions of workers eligible for overtime pay.  (See Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and the DOL’s presentation.)   What will this proposed change mean to employers? If enacted, it means those certain employees currently considered to be “exempt” from Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requirements will be nonexempt and must be paid overtime if they work more than 40 hours in a week. The proposed new “white collar”…

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19 May 2014 UNPAID INTERNS STRIKE AGAIN – CLASS OF 3000 EX-WARNER INTERNS APPROVED FOR WAGE AND HOUR CASE

  As we have covered in posts beginning last July, there has been a rash of lawsuits filed on behalf of unpaid interns suing their former companies for unpaid minimum wages and overtime.  This has resulted in a variety of conflicting opinions regarding whether these cases are appropriate for class certification or not.  Two of these cases have been appealed to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals.  The 2nd Circuit will decide the issue whether interns are “employees” under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act…

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18 Sep 2013 Home Health Care Workers Now Protected Under the FLSA

On Tuesday, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued its Final Rule regarding home health care workers and protections under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  Under the Final Rule, which will become effective Jan. 1, 2015, the minimum wage and overtime protections will extend to nearly 2 million in-home health care workers who care for the elderly, ill and disabled. The Final Rule revised certain definitions, including “domestic service employment” and “companionship services.”  Since 1974, “domestic service” employees have been covered by the FLSA and have…

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