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House Hearing Focuses on Federal Wage & Hour Enforcement

Members of the House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections held a hearing on Wednesday to discuss the exponential rise in Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) litigation, and the Department of Labor's employer compliance assistance efforts. According to Subcommittee Chairman Tim Walberg (R-MI), the FLSA and its regulations are "exceptionally complex and outdated . . . promot[ing] the interests of trial lawyers" over employees. Moreover, the "patchwork of conflicting interpretations and a complex regulatory structure have created an environment of legal uncertainty."

Captain Obvious Issues Most Obvious FLSA Decision of 2014 (So Far...)

If you have been anywhere near a TV or radio over the past few months, you have probably seen or heard the ads for Hotels.com featuring Captain Obvious. If you’re from the Midwest, and Indiana in particular, it has probably crossed your mind whether the Bob and Tom Show’s Mr. Obvious and Captain Obvious are somehow related. Well, maybe

Paid Leave, Flexible Work Scheduling Continue to Receive Attention

While the chance of both chambers approving bills this term that would significantly alter workplace wage and hour law is extremely low, members of the House and Senate continue to draw attention to this area. On Wednesday, Democratic members of both Houses of Congress introduced the Schedules that Work Act (H.R. 5159, S. 2642), a bill that would give hourly workers the right to request flexible and/or regular work schedules without reprisal. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) introduced the Senate bill and Rep. George Miller (D-CA) sponsored the House version. The bill would establish an interactive process for requesting and considering such schedule changes. In addition, according to a fact sheet, the legislation would require employers to:

House Hearing Focuses on Federal Wage & Hour Enforcement

Members of the House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections held a hearing on Wednesday to discuss the exponential rise in Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) litigation, and the Department of Labor's employer compliance assistance efforts. According to Subcommittee Chairman Tim Walberg (R-MI), the FLSA and its regulations are "exceptionally complex and outdated . . . promot[ing] the interests of trial lawyers" over employees. Moreover, the "patchwork of conflicting interpretations and a complex regulatory structure have created an environment of legal uncertainty."

Defense Appropriations "Wage Theft" Amendment May Bar Employers with FLSA Violations from Defense Contracts

Late last month, the Senate referred the Fiscal Year 2015 Defense Appropriations Act to the Senate Committee on Appropriations for consideration. The House of Representatives passed its version (H.R. 4870) on June 20 with substantial bipartisan support, 340-73, after considering 80 different amendments. Since this is a wage and hour blog, you can safely assume that I am not telling you about this just so I can link to the cool beta version of the bill tracker at Congress.gov. Of course, you also read the headline, so you know the House version of the bill currently contains a scary provision for many federal contractors.

USDOL Brief Elaborates Upon "Intern" Views

We wrote some time ago about a lower federal court's determination in Glatt v. Fox Searchlight Pictures that at least two unpaid interns were "employees" for federal Fair Labor Standards Act purposes.

FLSA "Per Diem" Claims On The Rise

A recent U.S. Labor Department press release highlights a growing area of scrutiny under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act: Paying "per diem" amounts to non-exempt employees.

Senators Introduced Bill Providing Tax Incentives for Offering Paid Leave

As more states institute mandatory paid leave laws, two U.S. Senators have introduced legislation that would provide employers with a tax incentive for offering paid time off. On July 16, Senators Deb Fischer (R-NE) and Angus King (I-ME) introduced the Strong Families Act (S. 2618), a bipartisan measure that would create a 25% non-refundable employer tax credit for each hour of paid leave provided to employees, capped at $4,000 per year for each qualified employee. To be eligible, the employer must offer at least four weeks of paid leave. Such leave would have to be available on an hourly basis, and distinct from vacation or sick leave. Employers of any size would qualify for the tax credit. Finally, the bill includes anti-retaliation provisions.

House Passes Appropriations Bill Barring Contractors with Some FLSA Violations from Government Contracts

Approving its fiscal year 2015 Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill (H.R. 4923), the U.S. House of Representatives also has agreed to prohibit funding for any contractor found to have violated certain wage requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Six Days on the Road and I'm Gonna Park My Truck to Comply with State Laws Tonight

My apologies to Dave Dudley. The song “Six Days on the Road” just doesn’t stand up to the changes we would have to make after the Ninth Circuit’s decision that the state meal and rest break laws are not preempted by federal hours of service laws (though I’m pretty sure that, eyes open wide or not, the “taking little white pills” part wasn’t even legal in 1963).