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DOL Publishes New Fact Sheet Regarding Overtime Regulations for Higher Education Employees

On April 12, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) issued a new fact sheet concerning “the applicability of [the white collar] exemptions [of the Fair Labor Standards Act] to jobs that are common in higher education institutions.” In contrast to other recent DOL direction, Fact Sheet #17S largely echoes previous guidance from the Obama-era DOL. Specifically, it summarizes points from the DOL’s May 2016 Guidance for Higher Education Institutions on Paying Overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act, a publication anticipating the never-implemented DOL’s revised overtime regulations, which would have raised the salary threshold for previously-exempt employees at institutions of higher education.

Do Good Audits Exist? Minimizing Damages in FLSA Cases

It's tax time, and perhaps the only thing worse than completing your tax returns is finding out that you're being audited. Common responses to undergoing an audit may involve gnashing of teeth, pulling of hair, and other forms of self-inflicted minor violence.

WHD Opinion Letter Finally Resolves Question Surrounding Lump-Sum Payments and Garnishments

Most employers receive a garnishment from time to time, and some employers receive a lot of them. It is the employer’s legal obligation to administer garnishments exactly, and liability arises for the employer for over-deducting or for the judgment creditor in the case of under-deducting.

Trump DOL Issues Opinion Letters on Compensability of Travel Time and Break Time Needed for Medical Reasons

Yesterday, the Department of Labor (DOL) under the Trump administration issued its first wage-hour opinion letters. Two of these opinion letters may be of general interest to employers and concern issues of (1) when an employee’s travel time must be compensated as hours worked under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and (2) when break time taken by employees for medical reasons (protected by the FMLA) must be compensated under the FLSA.

DOL Opinion Letters Providing Guidance on Travel Time and the Compensability of FMLA Protected Leave

Executive Summary: The Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor (DOL) issued two opinion letters today, April 12, 2018. One opinion addressed when employers must pay employees for travel time away from their homes and the second dealt with compensability of rest breaks covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Essentially, the DOL stated that employers are not required to pay for travel time where an employee has no regular working hours if the employer uses one of the permissible methods for identifying the employee’s normal working hours in determining whether travel time is compensable. In another opinion, the DOL addressed the issue of FMLA-protected employees who need fifteen-minute breaks every hour. The DOL concluded that such large, frequent break times were non-compensable under both the FLSA and the FMLA because the breaks predominantly benefitted the employee. It noted, however, that these FMLA-protected employees must be compensated for break time provided to all employees, such as two fifteen-minute breaks per day.

DOL Clarifies Tip Pooling Law

As reported last week, on March 23rd, President Trump signed into law a massive spending bill that, among other things, amended the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to clarify that a manager or supervisor may not keep his employees’ tips. The amendment, however, did not define the term “manager” or “supervisor.” Further, although the March 23rd amendment eliminated a 2011 Department of Labor (DOL) regulation that prohibited an employer from requiring a tip pool with employees other than those who “customarily and regularly receive tips” even if it paid the employee at least the minimum wage, the amendment did not state that the business practice was acceptable.

DOL Clarifies Amendment to the FLSA's Tip Pool Rules

On March 27, 2018, President Donald Trump signed into law Congress’s $1.3 trillion, 2,232-page omnibus budget bill, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018. Notably, on page 2,025, Congress amended the Fair Labor Standards Act by addressing rules affecting tipped employees and tip ownership, and putting to rest a notice of proposed rulemaking on the same subject. The FLSA amendment left open many questions, some of which were answered on April 6, 2018, when the Department of Labor issued Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2018-3.

A "Fair" Reading of FLSA Exemptions: The Supreme Court Holds that Service Advisors Are Exempt from Federal Overtime Laws

If you're not a car dealer and you missed the Supreme Court's decision last week in Encino Motorcars, LLC v. Navarro, we forgive you. After all, at first blush, the decades-long battle over application of the "salesman" exemption to service advisors under Section 213(b)(10) of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) should not concern anyone outside the dealership industry.

DOL Tries to Clear Up Confusion About FLSA Tip Credit

After Congress amended the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) last month to prohibit managers and supervisors from keeping employees' tips, many employers were left to wonder: who exactly is a manager or a supervisor?

Employers, Rev Your Engines: SCOTUS Rejects Narrow Construction of FLSA Exemption in Encino Motorcars, LLC v. Navarro

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to pay overtime compensation to covered employees, but exempts from overtime numerous categories of workers. Traditionally, these exemptions have been construed narrowly against the employer asserting them. Not anymore.