Judge Refuses To Dismiss Domino’s Collective Action Without Seeing Settlement Agreement

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Russell Jackson

On May 17, 2019, Judge Renee Marie Bumb of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey rejected the parties’ request to dismiss a Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) lawsuit without the Judge’s review of the settlement agreements.  In doing so, the District Court ordered defendants to submit the settlement agreement reached with the named plaintiff or attest that no agreement covering FLSA claims exists.  The case is Kessler v. Joarder Props., LLC, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83571 (D.N.J. May 17, 2019) and is a reminder for employers engaged in FLSA litigation that obtaining court approval is a requirement before dismissal of the action is proper. Continue reading

How Many Benefits are Included in the Calculation of Regular Rate? The World May Never Know

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Louis Britt

On March 28, 2019, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued a lengthy and detailed Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) to revise the regulations governing how employers should calculate “regular rate” under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). Upon release, the DOL set a deadline for public notice and comment of May 28, 2019. However, citing the interest expressed by “law firms, unions, and advocacy organizations,” the DOL extended the period for public comment to June 12, 2019. Continue reading

Renewed Increases to the White Collar Salary Threshold on the Horizon

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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

U.S. Department of Labor’s New Guidance, Compliance Tool, and Leadership

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Julie Adams

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

Are Religious Organizations Subject to the Laws of Man?

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Jeffrey Douglas

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

After the Scare: Sixth Circuit says Insurance Agents Are Still Independent Contractors

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Grant Close

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