Non-Kosher Provisions in FLSA Settlements in the Second Circuit

Shooman, Jeff - 300dpi
Jeffrey Shooman

I came across a short court order a few days ago that admonished settling parties in an FLSA suit for including an impermissible provision in the settlement.  Vasquez v. T&W Rest., Inc., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121129 (S.D.N.Y. July 19, 2019).  In the opinion, Magistrate Judge Pitman reminded the parties that “provision[s] prohibiting the re-employment of plaintiff . . . are not permissible in an FLSA settlement.”  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

U.S. Women’s Soccer Team’s Equal Pay Fight Continues As They Defend Their Title As World Champions

Gray, Kristin - 300dpi
Kristin Gray

On March 8, 2019, all 28 players on the women’s national team, initiated a proposed class and collective action in the United States District Court for the Central District of California against the United States Soccer Federation alleging discrimination based on sex in violation of the Equal Pay Act (“EPA”) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended (“Title VII”).  Notably, the players chose to file suit on International Women’s Day, which is intended to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women, as well as to raise awareness of gender equality issues.  Their fight continues as they defend their title as world champions at the World Cup. 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

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

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

Adams, Julie 300dpi
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