Total Articles: 26
Jackson Lewis P.C. • August 29, 2019
Paying an employee a day rate of $1,000 per day satisfies the salary basis test for purposes of the overtime exemption applicable to a “highly compensated employee” (HCE) under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has ruled (2-1). Faludi v. U.S. Shale Solutions, L.L.C., No. 17-20808 (Aug. 21, 2019).
Fisher Phillips • February 28, 2018
The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes minimum wage and overtime requirements, period. The FLSA does not explicitly require that employers cover all work-related costs, nor, does it do so by specifically prohibiting employers from imposing work-related costs on employees. Indeed, the FLSA permits an employer to impose these costs in their entirety on non-exempt employees. In other words, at least for FLSA purposes, it is not a matter of whether the employer can impose a cost, but the extent to which it can be imposed at one time depending on an employee's wages.
As a recent appeals court ruling illustrates, paying an employee a lot of money does not necessarily guarantee that he will be exempt from overtime requirements.
Fisher Phillips • October 25, 2016
When the revised requirements for the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's "white collar" exemptions take effect on December 1, the total-annual-compensation threshold for the "highly compensated employee" (HCE) versions will increase from $100,000 to $134,004. This raises the question of what actual total annual dollar amount will be necessary for the transition period, that is, for the timeframe in which the change occurs.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • October 26, 2015
Because most FLSA exemptions are affirmative defenses, their applicability is not often established by the Plaintiff’s Complaint, of which s/he is “master” and can shape to avoid addressing exemption-triggering duties. There are exceptions. In a recent opinion, a Manhattan federal district judge ruled that a commissioned salesman who traveled from his home office to conduct jewelry sales at customers’ places of business qualified as an exempt outside salesperson under the FLSA and New York Labor Law based on his own Complaint’s allegations. Cangelosi v. Gabriel Bros, Inc., 15-cv-3736 (JMF), 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140579 (S.D.N.Y. Oct. 15, 2015).
Fisher Phillips • September 11, 2015
Last Thursday, Fisher & Phillips filed its own extensive comments on the U.S. Labor Department's proposals and requests relating to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's Section 13(a)(1) exemptions.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • August 11, 2015
An employee for an automotive and truck parts company is an exempt outside salesperson under the FLSA and the New York Labor Law, despite allegations that he was only a service technician, the Court for the Eastern District of New York rules. Domenech v. Parts Auth., Inc., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101214 (E.D.N.Y. Aug. 3, 2015).
Fisher Phillips • March 30, 2015
The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (with jurisdiction over the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington) has ruled in Navarro v. Encino Motorcars, LLC that Service Advisors employed by automobile dealerships do not qualify for the Section 13(b)(10)(A) overtime exemption under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. It is the first court to have held this way
Ogletree Deakins • February 03, 2014
With thanks likely to the polar vortex, states across the nation are experiencing record low temperatures this winter. The bitterly cold winter has caused employees to call off work (or show up late) and employers to voluntarily close down for a day or more. In these situations, employers are often left wondering whether they must pay employees who have taken time off for reasons related to bad weather. Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the answer depends on a couple of factors.
Fisher Phillips • October 24, 2013
In this second part of our series, we explain how to avoid improper salary deductions that could destroy the overtime exemption of an employee who otherwise meets the applicable “duties test” for one of the so-called “white collar” exemptions.
Brody and Associates, LLC • June 20, 2012
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled yesterday that pharmaceutical sales representatives are not entitled to overtime pay. According to the 6-3 decision in Christopher v. Smithkline Beecham Corp., the representatives fall within the Fair Labor Standard’s Act exemption for “outside sales” employees, even though the representatives obtain, at most, a non-binding commitment from a physician to prescribe drugs that are later purchased at a pharmacy.
Phelps Dunbar LLP • June 20, 2012
Yesterday, in Christopher v. SmithKline Beecham Corp., the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed that pharmaceutical sales representatives employed by drug companies are exempt from the minimum wage and overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act under the statute's exemption for "outside salesmen." The ruling resolved a conflict among federal circuit courts on the issue and marks a major victory for the pharmaceutical industry. While drug companies have been classifying pharmaceutical sales representatives as exempt for decades, the classification had been recently challenged in numerous courts and, since 2009, the U.S. Department of Labor has sided with employees in arguing that pharmaceutical sales representatives do not satisfy the criteria for exempt outside salesman under FLSA regulations. The Supreme Court's decision to decline deference to the DOL's interpretation of regulations has a far reaching impact that extends beyond the pharmaceutical industry and will affect the way courts view the DOL's position on interpretations of other FLSA regulations.
Fisher Phillips • June 19, 2012
In an important wage-hour decision with potential relevance beyond the pharmaceutical industry, the Supreme Court held on June 18, 2012, that pharmaceutical sales reps at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) were exempt from overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act's exemption for "outside salesmen," resolving a split among the courts.
Ogletree Deakins • June 19, 2012
For those who think that one of the travesties of the recent history of employment law has been the explosion of FLSA collective action litigation, today's 5-4 decision by the Supreme Court holding that pharmaceutical representatives are in fact exempt employees under the outside sales exemption is a re-affirmation that common sense can in fact prevail. Christopher v. SmithklineBeacham Corp. (6/18/12).
Ogletree Deakins • June 19, 2012
On June 18, 2012, with Justice Samuel Alito writing for a 5-4 majority, the U.S. Supreme Court considered whether the term "outside salesman," as defined by Department of Labor (DOL) regulations, encompasses pharmaceutical sales representatives. The Court ruled that these sales representatives qualify as outside salesmen and thus, are exempt from the overtime compensation requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Given "the industry's decades-long practice of classifying pharmaceutical detailers as exempt employees" and the DOL's failure to initiate any enforcement actions with respect to sales representatives, the Court found that a decision to the contrary "would result in precisely the kind of ‘unfair surprise’ against which our cases have long warned." Although a critical decision for the pharmaceutical industry in its own right, the case generally has been viewed more importantly for its insight as to the weight the Supreme Court would give to agency views of the laws they enforce. Christopher v. SmithKline Beecham Corp., DBA GlaxoSmithKline, No. 11–204, U.S. Supreme Court (June 18, 2012).
Fisher Phillips • June 19, 2012
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that pharmaceutical sales representatives employed by GlaxoSmithKline were exempt from overtime pay under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's "outside salesman" exemption. The Court's decision in Christopher v. Smithkline Beecham Corp. resolves conflicting views expressed by a number of federal courts.
FordHarrison LLP • June 19, 2012
The U.S. Supreme Court held today that pharmaceutical sales representatives qualify as "outside salesmen" and, accordingly, are exempt from the overtime requirements of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). See Christopher v. SmithKline Beecham Corp. (No. 11-204, U.S. June 18, 2012). Importantly, the Court also refused to give controlling deference to the Department of Labor's (DOL) change of position in interpreting the regulation to exclude these employees, which was first announced in amicus briefs filed in court litigation. The Court noted that where, as here, an agency's announcement of its interpretation is preceded by a lengthy period of conspicuous inaction, "the potential for unfair surprise is acute."
Fisher Phillips • March 08, 2012
Most small box retailers treat the manager of each individual location as an exempt employee under the "managerial exemption" of the Fair Labor Standards Act. As such, the store managers are not paid for hours worked over 40 in a workweek. Many small retailers, those with stores typically between 7,000 and 10,000 square feet, have been assaulted with litigation from current and former store managers claiming they are not exempt employees. This article takes a closer look at two cases that came to diametrically different results based on very similar facts.
Fisher Phillips • February 27, 2012
The U.S. Labor Department continues to expand the number of jurisdictions and agencies with which it is collaborating to end what it has called "the business practice of misclassifying employees [as independent contractors] in order to avoid providing employment protections." The most recent additions are the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment and the Louisiana Workforce Commission.
Fisher Phillips • June 27, 2011
Another effort is afoot to limit the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's Section 13(a)(15) "companionship" exemption to the point of non-existence in any practical sense. Last week, apparently-identical bills (S. 1273 and H.R. 2341 -- see currently available version below) were introduced in the Senate and the House which would have precisely this effect. Similar measures were proposed last year, but the newer ones would impose even-narrower restrictions.
Fisher Phillips • March 21, 2011
The answer to our March 14 Quick Quiz is "$110". The federal Fair Labor Standards Act does not prohibit the employer from recouping some of the loss in that workweek, but it does restrict the amount.
Fisher Phillips • March 15, 2011
Store Associate Alex is paid on an hourly basis at the rate of $10 per hour. On Monday, he accepts a $150 check in payment for merchandise. He was so busy that he forgot to get the necessary customer information, and now the check has been returned because the account is closed. Alex's employer is unable to contact the customer.
Fisher Phillips • March 01, 2011
The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington) has added another chapter in the saga of whether pharmaceutical sales representatives (PSRs) qualify for the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's "outside salesman" exemption. The court recently ruled in Christopher v. SmithKline Beecham Corp. d/b/a GlaxoSmithKline that the Glaxo PSRs did fall within the exemption. The decision creates a split in the federal appellate courts by finding that the exemption applied to PSRs performing duties essentially the same as those found to be non-exempt by the Second Circuit in the Novartis case about which we previously reported.
Ogletree Deakins • January 20, 2011
Given the overwhelming number of FLSA collective actions that continue to be filed, it is hard to find very much encouraging news, but one ray of sanity is the 4th Circuit's opinion in Desmond v. PNGI Charles Town Gaming, (4th Cir. 1/18/11) [pdf].
Ogletree Deakins • March 18, 2009
Many companies affected by the current economic downturn are searching for ways to help weather that storm. Occasional reduction in work hours, implementing mandatory vacations, or instituting short-term furloughs can help an employer to retain experienced employees, while allowing the company to achieve cost savings in this time of economic crisis. The Department of Labor (DOL) recently released three opinion letters written in January of this year in response to employer inquiries about the effect of such short-term shut-downs on employees’ exempt status under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Fisher Phillips • March 03, 2009
The difficult financial environment is causing many employers to consider cost-savings in the area of employee compensation. The ideas sometimes include a temporary or intermittent scheduling of unpaid days off for employees whom the employer classifies as exempt executive, administrative, or professional employees under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.