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Total Articles: 13

Travel Agencies Hail Proposed Legislation Providing Overtime Exemption, But Employment Bills in General Face Uphill Battle

Last week Rep. Francis Rooney (R-FL) introduced a bill that would remove travel agents from the Department of Labor's list of workers that cannot qualify for the Fair Labor Standards Act's (FLSA) overtime exemption for retail workers. Under the exemption at issue, an employee must work at an establishment “recognized as retail." In 1970, the DOL created a list of industries—including travel agents—that were expressly excluded from using this retail service establishment exemption. The Travel Agent Retail Fairness Act (H.R. 2515) would strike travel agencies from this regulatory list.

Residence Hall Directors Under The New FLSA Exemption Rules

One of the issues that colleges and universities are struggling with under the new FLSA overtime exemption rules is how to compensate residence hall directors. While responsibilities vary from institution to institution, residence hall directors generally are responsible for overseeing students living in a college or university residence hall.

Coaches and Athletic Trainers Under the New FLSA Rules

As schools seek to adjust to the new Department of Labor overtime exemption rules and increased salary standards, nearly every institution has classification and overtime-calculation questions about athletic coaches and athletic trainer positions. The NCAA (in conjunction with CUPA-HR) has now issued a helpful paper addressing exemption analysis and practical considerations applicable to these roles that can be found here.

Seventh Circuit Exempts Interstate School Bus Drivers From FLSA Overtime Requirements

Last month, in Almy v. Kickert School Bus Line, Inc., No. 13-1273 (July 16, 2013), the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals joined the Second, Third, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits,in finding that school bus drivers who transport students across state lines fall within the “motor-carrier exemption” to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and are thus ineligible for overtime pay.

D.C. Circuit to DOL: You Can't Just Change Your Mind About Mortgage Loan Originators

Last week, a unanimous panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a 2010 Department of Labor Administrator Interpretation (AI) in which the DOL had stated that mortgage loan originators are non-exempt, but instead must be paid minimum wage and overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Mortgage Bankers Association v. Harris, No. 12-5246 (D.C. Cir. July 2, 2013). In 2010, the Department of Labor announced that in lieu of its historic practice of issuing opinion letters in response to specific factual scenarios presented by petitioners, it would issue more generalized guidance in the form of Administrator Interpretations (AIs) when it found it necessary to provide further clarity regarding the proper interpretation of a statutory or regulatory issue. The first AI rescinded a 2006 opinion letter which had stated that mortgage loan officers as described in that letter qualified for the FLSA's administrative exemption, and employers were not required to pay them overtime. The 2010 AI reversed DOL's position, stating that mortgage loan officers performing "typical" duties did not meet the administrative exemption, and so were owed overtime compensation. Plaintiffs' lawyers rejoiced.

Sixth Circuit Reopens Debate on Exempt Status of Mortgage Loan Officers Under FLSA

In 2010, the Department of Labor sought to settle the question of whether a mortgage loan officer constitutes an administrative employee exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act's minimum wage and overtime requirements. In its novel Administrator's Interpretation, the Department opined that a "typical" mortgage loan officer would not satisfy the exemption, because he or she would be primarily engaged in sales. In the wake of the Administrator's Interpretation, many companies reclassified their mortgage loan officers as non-exempt, and litigation has been rampant. An October 2012 decision from the Sixth Circuit, however, affirming a jury verdict in favor of Quicken Loans that its mortgage bankers were properly classified as exempt administrative employees, throws the debate open again, and calls into question the continuing impact of the DOL's Interpretation.

What Do You Mean I Have To Pay My Nanny Overtime?!

As a working mom, I am lucky to have a husband who is a stay-at-home parent. Rarely do I have to worry about being late to work because I have to drop my child off at school, or leaving work early to take my child to an after-school activity or doctor’s appointment.

Are Pharmaceutical Sales Reps Exempt As "Outside Salesmen?" Diagnosis Unclear

Just last August, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit issued a ruling that sent shock waves through segments of the healthcare industry. Then, as affected employers began responding to that decision, the 9th Circuit reached an apparently contradictory decision that may have raised more questions than it answered.

What Do You Mean the Job May No Longer Be Considered Exempt?

My last blog entry on travel time only touched on one issue that may arise as we see more employees being asked to take on additional responsibilities and assignments in lieu of hiring new personnel. Indeed, consolidation of jobs or responsibilities can lead to a number of other potential wage and hour issues that can have a significant impact on employers. One such issue arises when an exempt employee takes on additional jobs or duties that are non-exempt. How should an employee be treated for overtime purposes if working both exempt and non-exempt positions?

Court: Cable Installers Employees, Not Independent Contractors

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about an initiative by the U.S. Department of Labor, IRS and various state agencies to launch a coordinated crack-down on employers who misclassify employees as independent contractors. Recently, a U.S. District Court in Ohio issued a ruling that nicely illustrates the problem of misclassifcation and the potential liabilities that employers can face as a result.

The FLSA Overtime Exemption For Service Writers

Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor published a Final Rule concerning changes to its regulations and interpretations. One portion of the Final Rule's commentary appears to say that the DOL is now taking the position that employees doing the typical work of service writers/service advisors/service salespeople (we'll refer to them all as "service writers") are NOT exempt from overtime under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.

Michigan Jury Finds Mortgage Loan Officers Exempt, Disregarding the Department of Labor’s Interpretive Guidance

On March 17, 2011, a Michigan jury returned a verdict in favor of loan company, Quicken Loans Inc., in a federal class action wage and hour lawsuit. The jury found that the company’s loan officers were properly classified as exempt employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and as a result, the company did not owe the plaintiffs any overtime.

Misclassifying A Chef Can Cook Up Trouble.

The number of wage-hour claims has skyrocketed in recent years. As a result, a hospitality employers are more likely than ever before to be the target of a wage-hour lawsuit or a government compliance audit. One thing this means is that industry employers should be sure they have correctly classified everyone they treat as being exempt from the federal Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimum-wage, overtime, and timekeeping requirements.