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
February has been a busy month for the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”). The Wage and Hour Division (“WHD”) published new guidance addressing tipped employees and payment of subminimum wages and released a new compliance tool. The DOL also named a new Acting Wage and Hour Administrator. Employers should review these new publications and developments for applicability to their workforce: Continue reading
In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed the existence and applicability of the ministerial exception in employment discrimination cases. See Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church & Sch. v. EEOC, 565 U.S. 171 (2012). After conducting an exhaustive analysis of the history of separation of church and state including its origin in the first sentence of the Magna Carta, its merger during the reign of King Henry VIII, and its re-separation during the founding of this country, the Court concluded that the ministerial exemption is a critical safeguard against governmental interference in religious matters. Continue reading
Last week, many insurance carriers breathed a sigh of relief when the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals held that more than 700 American Family Life Insurance agents were properly classified as independent contractors, not employees. The case is Jammal v. American Family Life Insurance Company, 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 2905. Continue reading
Effective January 1, 2019, Florida’s minimum wage rate will increase from $8.25 per hour to $8.46 per hour. The increase is calculated by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and is based on the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for the South Region. Continue reading
U.S. Secretary of Labor, Alexander Acosta, recently formed the U.S. Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) new Office of Compliance Initiatives (“OCI”). The stated purpose of the OCI, according to the DOL’s website, is in part to “promote greater understanding of federal labor laws and regulations, allowing job creators to prevent violations and protect Americans’ wages, workplace safety and health, retirement security, and other rights and benefits.” To this end, the OCI focuses on education to ensure compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). Continue reading
On November 8, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) re-issued an opinion letter abandoning the “80/20 Rule,” which prohibited employers from taking a tip credit if a tipped employee spent more than 20% of his or her working time on non-tipped work.
The opinion letter is a re-issuance of one previously published on January 16, 2009 by the Bush administration. The letter, however, was withdrawn once President Obama took office. The DOL’s new guidance provides restaurant and hospitality employers with clarity and a more practical approach defining when a tip credit can be taken. Continue reading