Department of Labor Deflates the 80/20 Rule & Inflates the Tip Pool

Executive Summary: On Monday, October 7, 2019, the Department of Labor (DOL) proposed a new 80/20 rule and tip pooling regulation. First, the proposed regulation, if finalized, will permit employers to take a tip credit regardless of the amount of non-tip generating work (such as cleaning tables or folding napkins) a tipped employee performs as long as it is performed contemporaneously with his/her tipped duties, or within a reasonable time immediately before or after performing tipped duties. Second, the proposed regulation eliminates some regulatory restrictions regarding tip pooling when the employer does not take a tip credit. If the proposed rule is finalized, employers who do not take a tip credit will be permitted to include “back-of-the-house” employees who usually do not receive tips (such as cooks and dishwashers) as part of a tip pool. Lastly, the existing rule prohibiting employers from keeping employees’ tips or participating in tip-pooling arrangements will remain. Continue reading

DOL Reveals Long-Awaited Final Rule Governing Overtime Exemptions

Todaythe U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced its Final Rule updating the salary thresholds for the executive, administrative, and professional exemptions, as well as the highly compensated employees exemption, under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). Continue reading

Non-Exempt Employees Traveling for Work: How to Manage the Time Clock

Douglas, Jeff - 300dpi
Jeffrey Douglas

There may be instances where non-exempt employees are required to travel for business.  This is a common practice in the fashion industry where regular trips to factories throughout the world are a regular part of the business.  Non-exempt employees traveling for business can create serious wage and hour implications that, if not addressed properly, can lead to unaccounted for compensable time and overtime liability.  Continue reading

DOL Pivots, Providing Guidance Likely To Mitigate Recent Blitz of Minimum Wage Class Actions Related to Sleep Time And Off Duty Time Spent In Vehicles

Executive Summary: Almost all long-haul drivers are exempt from overtime under the motor carrier exemption to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). However, these same drivers are not exempt from the FLSA’s minimum wage requirements. Due to the ongoing driver shortage, drivers’ rates far exceed the minimum wage, especially when considering the Motor Carrier Safety Act limits on-duty hours to 60 per week. So it’s no surprise that many motor carriers were caught off guard when federal courts found them liable for not paying minimum wage because they failed to count the time drivers spent sleeping as hours worked. In guidance issued July 22, 2019 the United States Department of Labor (DOL) addressed the circumstances when time in the sleeper berth is compensable and shifted the burden to drivers to prove they were performing compensable work in the berth, providing “straightforward” guidance for the motor carrier industry and a defense to the minimum wage claims. Continue reading

DOL Provides Roadmap to Avoid Misclassification of Gig Workers

Executive Summary: On April 29, 2019, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) released a new opinion letter, FLSA2019-6, examining whether service providers for a virtual marketplace company (VMC) are employees or independent contractors. This opinion letter provides a road map for online brokers of services provided by independent contractors to ensure they are not misclassified as employees. Continue reading

DOL Proposes New Revisions to Overtime Exemption Rules

Executive Summary: The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued its proposed overtime regulations to replace the Obama administration’s (enjoined) overtime rule. The DOL raised the minimum salary threshold requirement for workers to qualify for the Fair Labor Standards Act’s white collar exemptions to $35,308 per year (or $679 per week). The proposed rule raises the threshold from $23,660 per year (or $455 per week). For highly compensated employees, the DOL raised the salary threshold from $100,000 to $134,000. The proposed regulation would make more than one million additional workers eligible for overtime. The DOL also proposed regular increases to the threshold every four years following public comment. Continue reading

Renewed Increases to the White Collar Salary Threshold on the Horizon

Gray, Kristin - 300dpi
Kristin Gray

In 2016, as employers scrambled to prepare to comply with the U.S. Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) “final rule,” which more than doubled the minimum salary threshold needed to meet the “white collar” exemptions by, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued an injunction blocking it.  Now, the DOL is expected to issue a new Notice of Proposed Rulemaking—possibly this month—increasing the salary threshold for these exemptions.  Continue reading