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Back to Basics: FLSA Coverage Quick Quiz

It's that time of year when families (yes, already) are making back-to-school preparations for the upcoming school year, and employers (ideally, already) are evaluating potential pay and policy changes for the upcoming calendar year. For a student who is a little rusty, this is the time to cram with one of those summer workbooks. For an employer that is a little rusty, cramming the FLSA's numerous nuances is just not possible. Nonetheless, when tackling a complex FLSA issue, oftentimes the best approach is to get back to the basics.

Supreme Court Clarifies FLSA Exemption for Sales, Service Advisors, Partsmen, and Mechanics

The U.S. Supreme Court recently gave relief to automotive, tractor, and aircraft dealerships, clarifying that service advisors are – like salesmen, partsmen, and mechanics – exempt from payment of overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

80/20 Tip Credit Rule Is Target of Restaurant Group Lawsuit

The restaurant industry is hoping to overturn a federal policy that prohibits employers from claiming a minimum wage tip credit for employees who spend more than 20% of their time performing duties that do not directly produce tips, such as washing dishes or making coffee.

Restaurant Industry Association Files Suit Challenging “80/20” Rule

The Restaurant Law Center, a public policy affiliate of the National Restaurant Association, has filed suit against the Department of Labor and its Wage and Hour Division, seeking to declare unlawful the DOL’s 2012 revision to its Field Operations Handbook, purporting to establish, through sub-regulatory guidance, the “80/20” tip credit rule or “20% Rule.” Restaurant Law Center v. U.S. Dept. of Labor, No. 18-cv-567 (W.D. Tex. July 6, 2018). The 80/20 Rule seeks to limit the availability of the tip credit when tipped employees spend more than 20% of their time performing allegedly non-tip generating duties. One of several problems in applying such a rule is identifying what is, and what is not, an allegedly “tip-generating” duty.

The FLSA After 80 Years, Part III: The Tip Credit Is Here To Stay

It is quite common in the hospitality industry for employers to pay tipped employees a cash wage that is less than the required minimum wage. This practice is permissible under the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) tip credit provisions. The philosophy underlying the tip credit is that the tipped employees are receiving compensation in the form of tips from customers, thereby relieving the employer of some of the burden associated with paying the full minimum wage.

2018 Midyear Minimum Wage Increases

On July 1, 2018, a number of states’ and localities’ minimum wage increases went into effect. The chart below summarizes state and locality mid-2018 minimum wage increases—as well as Delaware’s impending minimum wage increase, which will occur on October 1, 2018—along with the related change in maximum tip credit and minimum cash wage for tipped employees.

The FLSA After 80 Years, Part II: Eight Decades of the Fair Labor Standards Act

As the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) turns 80, it presents a timely opportunity to acknowledge its impact and call for its modernization. Signed into law on June 25, 1938, the FLSA was part of the New Deal championed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins, among many others. The law, which took effect on October 24, 1938, established a federal minimum wage of 25 cents per hour, provided for a maximum workweek of 44 hours before overtime pay was required, and prohibited oppressive child labor. This initial legislation called for reducing the workweek by two hours per week over the following two years to 40 hours before overtime pay was due. It also increased the federal minimum wage from 25 cents per hour to 40 cents per hour through annual increases over a three-year period.

Establishing and Reviewing a Nonexempt Employee Timekeeping System

Federal and state laws require that employers pay employees for all hours worked. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) defines “hours worked” broadly to include (a) all time during which an employee is required to be on duty, on the employer’s premises, or at a prescribed workplace; and (b) all time during which an employee is suffered or permitted to work, whether or not the employee is required to do so. When employees file claims for unpaid time worked, the burden is on the employer to show that all work hours have been properly recorded and paid. One way to establish a record of an employee’s time worked each shift is to use contemporaneous time records that show the precise time that the employee started and stopped work for the shift, and took extended duty-free breaks from work, like meal breaks. Companies may want to adopt the important policies and practices below.

The FLSA After 80 Years, Part I: Major Changes, Current Compliance Concerns, and Possible Revisions

Since its passage in 1938, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has had—and continues to have—a remarkable impact on the workplace through requirements that most employees are entitled to at least a minimum wage for all hours worked and overtime premium pay for hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a workweek. This year marks the 80th anniversary of the enactment of the FLSA, and there’s a lot that has changed in the last eight decades. This article will address some of those changes, current areas of concern for employers, and revisions that are likely to be made in the near future.

WPI Wage Watch: Minimum Wage & Overtime Updates (May Edition)

Employers with minimum wage, tip, and overtime allergies might dread spring, but given the few developments this month, they should only experience a mild case of May fever. On the other hand, many should expect June gloom because, although the days are becoming longer, there is limited daylight between now and when states and cities across the county begin raising their minimum wage rates on July 1.