News & Analysis as of

Employment Law Update: Tech Support - The FLSA’s Specialized Exemption

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provides several exemptions from overtime requirements for employees whose job duties meet specific tests. Most employers are familiar with the standard “white- collar” exemptions –...more

DOL Makes It Official: New FLSA Regulations Delayed Until 2015

Back in late May, we told you that the Department of Labor had released its required Semiannual Regulatory Agenda. The Agenda, which is not binding on the DOL, included several FLSA-related items. Most importantly, the DOL...more

Working Two Jobs to Make Ends Meet: Paying Employees Working Exempt and Non-Exempt Jobs

Back in 2012, my colleague Bill Pokorny discussed how to properly pay a non-exempt employee who worked two jobs for an employer. This past week, one of my other colleagues and I were discussing a twist on this situation: what...more

Attn. General Counsel: Big Changes are Coming to Wage-and-Hour Law

The White House has already taken steps to propel no less than three significant changes in wage-and-hour law, all of which could have wide-ranging effects on employers of all sizes. The likely changes include an increase in...more

Claims Handlers: It’s Time to Adjust Our Claims!

Many insurers have a longstanding practice of paying claims adjusters a set weekly salary, regardless of the number of hours they actually work. The practice has support in federal labor regulations; the regulations...more

Third Circuit: Federal Court Should Decide Whether An Arbitration Clause Authorizes Classwide Arbitration – Not The Arbitrator

The Third Circuit recently was presented with the question of whether, in the context of an otherwise silent contract, the availability of classwide arbitration is to be decided by a court rather than an arbitrator. The...more

Fair Warning: 10 Common Mistakes to Avoid under the Fair Labor Standards Act

Most healthcare employers have probably heard of the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") and most probably think it is pretty simple. Doesn't that law just deal with prohibiting child labor and paying overtime wages to hourly...more

FLSA Exemptions And "Overtime Rights"

We continue to follow developments relating to President Obama's directive that the U.S. Labor Department "modernize and streamline" its regulations governing the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's Section 13(a)(1) executive,...more

FLSA Collective Action Waivers In Separation Agreements May Not Be Valid In 6th Circuit

Employees discharged as part of a company restructuring can participate in a collective action lawsuit for unpaid overtime wages under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) despite waiving their collective action rights in...more

Feds Get Technical! Technical! (Sung to Olivia Newton John’s “Let’s Get Physical” of course)

We already know that California’s exempt/non-exempt classification scheme is a complicated system of checks and balances that takes most employers the help of an attorney to traverse. Well, just so we don’t get overly...more

California Supreme Court Clarifies Commissioned Employee Exemption

Peabody v Time Warner Cable, Inc. (July 14, 2014, No. S204804) 2014 Cal Lexis 4755, came to the California Supreme Court from the Ninth Circuit, through a certification procedure that is used when a question can determine the...more

The Commissioned Salesperson Exemption Just Got More Difficult to Establish

Many California employers rely on California's commissioned salesperson exemption from overtime for their inside sales employees. That exemption, however, is becoming increasingly difficult to establish. A recent decision...more

Captain Obvious Issues Most Obvious FLSA Decision of 2014 (So Far...)

If you have been anywhere near a TV or radio over the past few months, you have probably seen or heard the ads for Hotels.com featuring Captain Obvious. If you’re from the Midwest, and Indiana in particular, it has probably...more

Peabody Decision Tightens Requirements for Commission Payments and Exempt Status

State and federal law create an exemption from overtime compensation for employees engaged in sales who satisfy specific criteria. Although the requirements under each set of laws are not identical, each generally provides...more

California Supreme Court Limits Application of Commissioned Employee Exemption

On July 14, 2014, the California Supreme Court held in Peabody v. Time Warner Cable, Inc. that employees qualify for the California “commissioned employee” exemption in a pay period only if they receive “earnings [that]...more

Department of Labor to Revise Federal Regulations Interpreting the Right to Receive Overtime Pay under the Fair Labor Standards...

In a March 2014 Memorandum, President Obama directed the Department of Labor to “modernize and streamline” the regulations that dictate when an employer may lawfully designate an employee as exempt from overtime pay under the...more

California Supreme Court Clarifies Requirements of Commissioned Employee Exemption

In recent years there has been substantial litigation regarding whether and how employers may satisfy California minimum wage requirements for compensation plans involving commissions. In Peabody v. Time Warner Cable, Inc.,...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

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

Supreme Court to Review Cases Involving Overtime Exemption for Mortgage Loan Officers

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court accepted review of two lower court decisions of significant importance to the banking and financial services industries. The cases involve the question of whether mortgage loan officers are...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

Are Your Sales Employees Properly Classified as Exempt?

Many employers treat their sales employees as exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act's overtime and minimum wage requirements. Regardless of whether they pay them a salary, commissions, or some combination of both,...more

Secretly Working Off The Clock—You Don’t Get Paid For That!

Following principles that federal courts have applied in similar cases under the Fair Labor Standards Act, a California appellate court recently confirmed that employers are not liable under the California Labor Code for...more

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