News & Analysis as of

When Numbers Lie: The Limits of Statistical Methodology in California Class Action Management

Courts that oversee class actions can use class sampling and other statistical methods to manage litigation involving large numbers of plaintiffs and the vast amount of data associated with them. In California, however, those...more

California Supreme Court: Newspaper Carriers Can Proceed With Class Action Challenging Independent Contractor Status

On June 30, 2014, the California Supreme Court issued a decision addressing how trial courts should determine the appropriateness of class certification in cases where workers claim they were improperly classified as...more

California Minimum Wage Increases July 1st!

Any California employer that has been in hiding the last six months or more may not be aware that California’s minimum wage increases to $9 per hour from the existing minimum wage of $8 per hour on July 1, 2014. In addition...more

Supreme Court Agrees To Hear Trade Group Challenge To Mortgage Loan Officer Compensation Guidance

On June 16, the U.S. Supreme Court consolidated and agreed to hear two related cases regarding the Department of Labor’s (DOL) 2010 interpretation of its regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act that mortgage loan...more

California Delivery Drivers Gain Employee Status Despite Independent Contractor Agreements

On June 16, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that home-delivery drivers who transported furniture and appliances for a leading transportation and logistics company under independent contractor agreements...more

New Department of Labor Rule to Limit Live-In Employees Eligible for Exempt Status

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has long provided an exemption for overtime wages to employees engaged in "companionship services," such as in-home caretakers who sleep at their patients' homes. Recently, however, the...more

Fenwick Employment Brief - June 2014

No Liability for Off-the-Clock Work Absent Employer Knowledge - A California appeals court refused to hold Kaiser Foundation Health Plan liable for alleged off-the-clock overtime about which it lacked knowledge. In...more

Statistical Sampling in Class Action Trial Violated Defendant's Due Process Rights

In a unanimous decision, the California Supreme Court on May 29 reversed a class action verdict for a class which was based on a flawed statistical model to determine liability and damages. Duran v. U.S. Bank National...more

Essential Employment Policies for Family Businesses, Part II

In this second round of “must-have” employment policies, we focus on rest breaks and meal periods. It can be devastating for any business, but especially a family-run business, to face claims of non-compliance with wage and...more

President Obama Directs USDOL To Revamp FLSA Overtime Exemptions So More Employees Are Eligible For Overtime Pay

On March 13, 2014, President Obama signed a Memorandum directing the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) to revamp the regulations regarding who qualifies for overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA...more

USDOL Guidance Released On "Adult Foster Care", "Shared Living Arrangements"

We reported earlier that the U.S. Labor Department has issued a Final Rule re-stating the requirements for and limitations upon the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's Section 13(a)(15) "companionship exemption". The changes...more

Can We Define "Full Time" To Mean Something Less Than 40 Hours Per Week?

Q. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), do we have to define “full time” to mean 40 hours per week, or is that left to employers’ discretion? Can we maintain a 40-hour standard for wage and hour purposes, but have a...more

What’s Happening with Overtime?

Some misconceptions are floating around regarding the current status of federal overtime laws. .Fact: Nothing has actually changed yet. .Fact: President Obama has ordered the Department of Labor (DOL) to evaluate...more

President Obama Orders the Department of Labor to Modernize Overtime Rules

In a White House ceremony on Thursday, March 13, 2014, President Barack Obama signed a memorandum ordering the Secretary of Labor to “propose revisions to modernize and streamline the existing overtime regulations” governing...more

Obama Directs Initiative to Update FLSA Overtime Regulations Likely to Tighten White-Collar Classifications

President Barack Obama on Thursday signed a Presidential Memorandum directing the Secretary of Labor to update the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations governing which "white collar" employees qualify for overtime...more

Labor and Employment: President Obama Directs Department of Labor to Modernize and Streamline FLSA Overtime Regulations

On March 13, 2014, President Obama issued a memorandum directing the Secretary of Labor to update and streamline the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime regulations. In the memorandum, President Obama noted that the...more

President Obama Directs the DOL to Attack FLSA Exemptions

Everybody is talking about it – President Obama’s announcement at the end of last week that existing overtime regulations be “modernized” and “streamlined” – but what exactly does this mean? The answer is, only time will...more

Revamping Overtime Regulations: No Specifics Yet

President Obama announced this week that he is directing the Secretary of Labor to “modernize and streamline” existing overtime regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act. He characterized the current regulations as...more

President Obama Signs Memorandum To Expand Overtime Protection

On March 13, 2014, President Obama signed a Presidential Memorandum directing the Department of Labor to create new regulations making more workers eligible for overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act's (FLSA)...more

Dramatic Changes Ahead for Overtime Laws

On Thursday, President Obama will instruct the U.S. Department of Labor to revise its overtime regulations implementing the Fair Labor Standards Act. The President’s plan will force employers to pay more overtime to millions...more

President Obama Sics the DOL on Corporate Profits, Says Reduce the Number of Exempt Workers and Pay More Overtime

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water . . . or at least thought you might be getting a handle on the highly technical and nuanced regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act governing the “white collar...more

No Showing That “Primarily Engaged In” Requirement Met Where Executive Employee Spent More Than 50% Of Time Performing Non-Exempt...

In Guilfoyle v. Dollar Tree Stores, Inc., a federal district court in California held that an employer was unable to meet the “primarily engaged in” requirement of the executive exemption test where the employee spent more...more

Fenwick Employment Brief - February 2014

A California federal court in Enki Corporation v. Freedman held that a former employee’s access of the employer’s computer systems through his log-in credentials did not amount to unlawful hacking under either the Computer...more

Preventing A Messy "Failed Exemption" Lawsuit

(Labor Letter, February 2014) - In recent years employers have become all too familiar with lawsuits alleging violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). According to the Administrative Office of the...more

Employee Pay on a Snow Day

With the Eastern half of the United States bracing for heavy snow and freezing temperatures this week, many employers will close businesses due to icy and snowy road conditions. Employers must be mindful, however, that a snow...more

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