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

Inching Closer to a New Overtime Rule?

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Julie Adams

In 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) modified 29 C.F.R. § 541 – which regulates  the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (“FLSA”) white-collar exemptions (administrative, executive, professional, computer, and outside sales) – often referred to as the “Overtime Rule.”  Among other changes, the new Overtime Rule increased the salary threshold for white-collar employees from $23,660 to $47,476.  Before the new Overtime Rule took effect, Judge Amos Mazzant, a federal district judge in Texas, temporarily blocked the rule by entering an injunction in Nevada v. United States Dep’t of Labor, 227 F. Supp. 3d 696 (E.D. Tex. 2017).  Rather than appeal Judge Mazzant’s decision and pursue implementation of the revised 2016 rule, the DOL elected, instead, to proceed with a new rulemaking.  Continue reading

Illinois Court Highlights Individual Liability Risk in FLSA Claims

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Russell Jackson

Executive Summary: Under the FLSA, personal liability can attach to individual employees in supervisory, management, and executive positions.  To be held liable, the individual defendant must be considered an “employer,” defined as “any person acting directly or indirectly in the interest of an employer in relation to an employee”.  29 C.F.R. § 570.113(a).  While the FLSA’s definition is relatively broad, recently, in Foday et al v. Air Check, Inc. et al, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140552 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 20, 2018), the Northern District of Illinois clarified when individual employees can properly be named as defendants, holding that a company’s President could be held liable because he possessed certain supervisory functions and knowledge of the company’s relevant pay and scheduling practices.  Continue reading

$282.55 Short Of An FLSA Claim

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Jeff Shooman

Executive Summary: With Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) lawsuits becoming ubiquitous in recent years, it can be easy to forget that the act does not apply to all businesses or all employees.  On July 17, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit provided a useful reminder that the first step in analyzing any FLSA claim is not determining if there are minimum wage or overtime violations, but rather if the FLSA applies at all.   Specifically, in Collar v. Abalux, Inc., No. 18-10676, __ F.3d __, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 19592 (11th Cir. July 17, 2018) the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the grant of summary judgment to an employer because the FLSA was not triggered given that the company had less than $500,000 in annual gross receipts, which is the minimum for enterprise coverage under the statute. Continue reading

Are You Paying Your Employees to Travel from One Customer to the Next?

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Grant Close

In most circumstances, the FLSA requires employers to pay non-exempt employees for the time they spend traveling from one work site to another during their work day.  This is not breaking news, but, as it is a topic that impacts a large number of employers, it is important for employers to understand the rules surrounding compensable travel time.  The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued an opinion letter earlier this year on the topic that helps clarify the travel time principles under the FLSA and the multiple DOL regulations that come into play on this issue.  The DOL’s opinion letter FLSA2018-18, available at https://www.dol.gov/whd/opinion/FLSA/2018/2018_04_12_01_FLSA.pdf,  provides a straightforward guide to some simple rules to follow in this context. Continue reading