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Total Articles: 32

Department of Labor Abandons Appeal of Overtime Rule

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) asked a federal appeals court to dismiss its appeal of the court order blocking its controversial 2016 “overtime rule” from taking effect, signaling the DOL’s official abandonment of the Obama-era rule in favor of the agency’s plan to pursue less-drastic overtime reform.

With the Overtime Appeal Over, It’s Now Time to Focus on the Do-Over

With the appeal of the overtime injunction in federal court now over, employers and trade associations now need to focus on the overtime do-over that is underway at the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). More specifically, comments in response to the DOL’s request for information (RFI) regarding potential changes to the salary and duties tests for the white-collar regulations under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) are due no later than Monday, September 25.

Oral Argument on Overtime Rule Appeal Scheduled for October 2nd

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals tentatively has set oral argument for October 2nd on the Obama-era overtime pay rule that has been blocked from government enforcement by a federal district court in Texas since last November.

Possible October Oral Arguments In Exemption Appeal

The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has "tentatively" scheduled oral arguments for the week of October 2, 2017 regarding the U.S. Department of Labor's efforts to overturn last November's preliminary injunction blocking salary-related changes affecting the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's "white collar" exemptions.

Oral Argument in Overtime Appeal to be Held in Early October

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has tentatively scheduled oral argument for the week of October 2 in a highly watched case involving revised overtime regulations that were supposed to become effective last December. Those regulations were temporarily enjoined on a nationwide basis by a federal judge in Texas just before Thanksgiving.

Labor Department Asks for Public Input on FLSA White Collar Exemptions

As a preliminary step to replacing the December 1, 2016, Fair Labor Standards Act “white collar” exemptions Final Rule, the Department of Labor has issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking public comment on a wide variety of issues related to potential revisions of the Rule. Comments on the RFI, published in the Federal Register on July 26, 2017, are by September 25, 2017.

DOL Seeks Input Before Issuing New Proposed Rulemaking on the White Collar Exemptions

On July 25, 2017, the Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division announced its intent to publish a Request for Information (RFI) seeking input from the public before issuing revised proposed overtime exemption regulations to address, most significantly, the minimum salary level required for exempt status. These regulations apply to workers employed in an executive, administrative or professional capacity, and meet specific criteria relating to salary basis, salary level and job duties. The regulations, codified at 29 C.F.R. part 541, are referred to as the “white collar” exemptions.

USDOL To Publish "White Collar" Exemption Information Request (Updated 07 26 17)

A U.S. Department of Labor Request for Information will be published tomorrow morning to seek additional public comment regarding the 2016 compensation revisions in the regulations defining the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's so-called "white collar" exemptions. The agency has now released a preview of the document that will appear in the Federal Register.

Groundhog Day: DOL Issues Request for Information on Enjoined Overtime Rule

As Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta testified in early June, the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has issued its request for information (RFI) on the Part 541 overtime regulations that were finalized in 2016. In this RFI, the DOL is seeking new comments, data, and information on an appropriate salary level for bona fide executive, administrative and professional exempt employees pursuant to section 13(a)(1) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), as defined in the Part 541 regulations. This RFI will be published in the Federal Register on Wednesday, July 26, 2017.

DOL Asks for Input on New Overtime Rule

The US Department of Labor (DOL) is seeking comment from the public, including employers, on its plans to update the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime rules.

DOL Brief in Overtime Rules Case Leaves New Uncertainty

On June 30, the U.S. Department of Labor filed its long-awaited brief announcing the new administration’s position on the ongoing litigation over the FLSA overtime exemption rules published last May. As readers may recall, the new rules would have increased the minimum salary for exempt employees from $455 per week to $913 per week. The rules were blocked by a preliminary injunction from a U.S. District Court just days before they were to take effect last November. The Department of Labor appealed that injunction ruling to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals shortly before President Obama left office. That appeal has been on hold while the new administration reviewed its position on the regulations and the lawsuit.

Context Matters: Mortgage Underwriters Don’t Meet FLSA’s Administrative Exemption, Ninth Circuit Concludes

Mortgage underwriters do not qualify for the Fair Labor Standards Act’s administrative exemption because they are more appropriately characterized as “production” employees, according to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. McKeen-Chaplin v. Provident Savings Bank, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 11950 (9th Cir. July 5, 2017).

USDOL Submits Arguments In Salary Appeal

The U.S. Department of Labor has finally filed a Reply Brief supporting its request that the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals overturn last November's preliminary injunction that blocked the salary-related changes in the regulations defining the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's "white collar" exemptions.

DOL Intends to 'Revisit' 47k Minimum Salary for Overtime-Exempt Employees

The Trump administration today defended its right to establish a minimum salary level for overtime-exempt employees

Trump DOL to the Fifth Circuit: Uphold Ability to Set a Salary Level, But Don’t Rule on $913 Per Week Threshold

For the past seven months, employers throughout the country have been wondering what the future would hold with respect to the revised overtime regulations that were supposed to become effective last December and what position the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) under President Trump would take with respect to those regulations.

Some States Forge Ahead On Salary Thresholds

Since last November, employers have waited with bated breath for a resolution of the status of the U.S. Department of Labor's salary-threshold increase for an executive, administrative, professional, or derivative "white collar" exemption under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's Section 13(a)(1). To date, there have been no substantive developments with respect to the Texas court's preliminary injunction.

Putative Class and Collective Action Under Enjoined U.S. DOL Overtime Rule Appears to Face Strong Argument for Dismissal

On June 7, 2017, a plaintiff brought a putative class and collective action against Chipotle for alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and New Jersey’s Wage and Hour Law.1 The plaintiff asserts the company misclassified her “apprentice” position as salaried-exempt in violation of state and federal law. She claims her duties were those of an hourly non-exempt employee and she was entitled to overtime. The plaintiff also claims that Chipotle violated the salary basis test by failing to pay her at least $913 per week in violation of a DOL overtime rule that was enjoined and never went into effect. At least as to the latter claim, the plaintiff's complaint will likely be subject to a strong argument favoring dismissal, in light of the preliminary injunction issued last November by a federal judge in the Eastern District of Texas in Nevada v. Perez.

House of Representatives Passes Bill to Delay Overtime Rule Effective Date

On September 28, 2016, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 6094 Regulatory Relief for Small Businesses, Schools, and Nonprofits Act by a vote of 246 to 177. This bill would delay the December 1, 2016 effective date of the new salary level test in the final overtime rule for six months until June 1, 2017.

House Votes to Delay OT Rule But Employers Are Not Out of the Woods Yet

Yesterday, the United States House of Representatives passed a bill, H.R. 6094 (the “bill” referred to as the Regulatory Relief for Small Businesses, Schools and Nonprofits Act), that would delay the effective date of the Department of Labor’s new overtime rule by 6 months, from December 1, 2016 to June 1, 2017. The Vote passed the House 246-177, with 5 Democrats voting in favor of it. This is just the latest challenge to the DOL’s doubling of the minimum salary threshold for the white collar exemptions (executive, administrative, and professional) under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Business groups, congressional Republicans and State Officials have all criticized the drastic economic impact such a measure would have on businesses.

Keep Calm And Carry On: Part 2

The December 1 effective date for the increased dollar-amount thresholds for most of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's so-called "white collar" exemptions is now only a little more than two months away.

Is Proposed Legislation Likely To Slow Implementation of The New Overtime Regulations? Probably Not.

On May 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced the publication of its final rule updating its existing overtime regulations. The updated regulations are scheduled to become effective on December 1 of this year and are predicted to extend overtime pay protections to over 4 million workers within the first year of implementation. The updates include a provision under which employees are eligible for overtime compensation if they work over 40 hours in a week and earn less than $47,476 per year—an over 100 percent increase from the current salary threshold of $23,660.

FAQs on the Final Overtime Regulations

On May 18, the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division released the new final overtime rule. The new minimum salary level for the executive, administrative, and professional employee exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) will be $913 per week, or $47,476 per year, under final regulations. This new salary threshold—which will become effective on December 1, 2016—more than doubles the current minimum salary level of $455 per week, or $23,660 per year and will have a dramatic impact on employers. Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about the new rule.

What are the Most Significant Changes the DOL Made to the FLSA's White Collar Overtime Regulations?

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published the final rule revising the “white collar” overtime exemption regulations on May 18, 2016. This publication was the result of a process that began in March 2014 when President Obama directed the Secretary of Labor to review and “modernize” the current overtime regulations. In the final rule, the DOL estimates that the changes will impact 4.2 million white collar workers.

Wynn Marketing Executive Host Is Exempt Administrative Employee Due To Exercise of Discretion

Earlier this week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued an unpublished decision affirming summary judgment in favor of Wynn Las Vegas with respect to overtime claims asserted by a Slot Marketing Executive Host. Dannenbring v. Wynn Las Vegas, LLC, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 5715 (9th Cir. Nev. Mar. 28, 2016).

On Second Thought, Court Holds Underwriters Qualify For Administrative Exemption

Applicability of the technical FLSA exemptions can sometimes turn on subtle distinctions, a frustrating proposition for FLSA litigants. A new opinion highlights these subtleties, as, on a motion for reconsideration made ahead of a bench trial, a court reversed its earlier ruling denying summary judgment to defendant bank as to the applicability of the administrative exemption to the bank’s underwriters, and granted summary judgment in defendant’s favor. McKeen-Chaplin v. Provident Sav. Bank, FSB, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106245 (E.D. Cal. Aug. 12, 2015).

Exemption Comments Already Being Filed

Nearly 1,600 comments have already been posted in response to the U.S. Labor Department's proposals regarding the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's Section 13(a)(1) exemptions. Not surprisingly, there is great concern about the magnitude of the salary increase USDOL has proposed, both the $921 level that is actually on the table and the $970 figure that USDOL has projected might be in the final regulations.

FLSA Guru Tammy McCutchen Discusses How to Get Ready for New Overtime Regulations

In a recent webinar hosted by XpertHR, one of the leading authorities on the Fair Labor Standards Act offered some advice to help HR prepare for what’s in store.

Eleventh Circuit Holds "Program Manager" Satisfies FLSA’s Administrative Exemption

As most employers are aware, the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) requires that employers pay non-exempt employees overtime compensation for any hours worked over 40 in a workweek. 29 U.S.C. § 207(a)(1). In an Eleventh Circuit case decided this month, Adams v. BSI Management Systems America, Inc., 2013 WL 3722115 (11th Cir. July 17, 2013), a Supply Chain Security Program Manager who was terminated for poor performance sued her former employer alleging that she should have been paid overtime as a non-exempt employee.

Does Lady Gaga Owe Assistant OT?

Imagine you are the personal assistant for the world’s most famous artist, Lady Gaga. You have the opportunity to travel the world, meet famous people and watch your boss hit the button to drop the “ball” in Times Square on New Years Eve. What could be better? Well, apparently, being paid overtime.

Decision Against Novartis Has Implications Beyond Pharmaceutical Industry.

In a major decision with possible relevance outside of the pharmaceutical industry, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Connecticut, New York, and Vermont) gave strong deference to a U.S. Labor Department legal brief and overruled a lower court in deciding that Novartis's pharmaceutical sales reps were not exempt from overtime as outside salespersons or as administrative employees under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act or applicable state laws. On the same day, the Second Circuit also summarily ruled against Schering in a similar case.

Sales Rep Falls Within FLSA’s “Administrative” Exemption Because of Independent Strategic Planning Responsibilities.

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employees who work more than 40 hours a week are entitled to overtime pay unless they fall under one of the Act’s enumerated exemptions. The 3d U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal found that a Johnson & Johnson sales representative fell within the “administrative” exemption, based upon that person’s high level of planning and foresight, along with her “exercise of discretion and independent judgment with respect to matters of significance” and, therefore, was not entitled to overtime pay.

Sales rep falls within FLSA's "administrative" exemption because of independent strategic planning responsibilities.

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employees who work more than 40 hours a week are entitled to overtime pay unless they fall under one of the Act’s enumerated exemptions. The 3d U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal found that a Johnson & Johnson sales representative fell within the “administrative” exemption, based upon that person’s high level of planning and foresight, along with her “exercise of discretion and independent judgment with respect to matters of significance” and, therefore, was not entitled to overtime pay. Smith v. Johnson & Johnson, 3d Cir., No. 09-1223, February 2, 2010.