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Department of Labor Brief Provides More Guidance on Interns

In the past, we’ve explained the DOL’s test for whether employers must pay their interns. Put simply, public employers and qualifying not-for-profit entities do not have to pay their interns.

Employer May Determine Workweek for Payroll Purposes under FLSA, Federal Court Rules

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, an employer may use a Monday-through-Sunday “workweek” to calculate overtime pay for employees with work schedules of Thursdays through Wednesdays, the federal appellate court in New Orleans has ruled. Johnson v. Heckmann Water Res. (CVR), Inc., No. 13-40824, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 13501 (5th Cir. July 14, 2014).

Department of Labor Plans To Take Next Step in White Collar Exemption Overhaul in November

Earlier this year, President Obama ordered the Secretary of Labor to overhaul the executive, administrative, and professional exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime and minimum wage requirements.

Here We Go Again—Significant Threat of Automatic Debarment from Government Contracts Slipping in Under the Wire!

Two weeks ago, the U.S. House of Representatives passed, by voice vote, a little-understood and little-noticed amendment to the Fiscal Year 2015 Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 4923) that would debar large federal contractors that have been found to have violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) within the past five years. “Debarment” is a sanction imposed for violations of law that prohibits cited contractors from doing business with the federal government for a length of time.

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 According to Subcommittee Chairman Tim Walberg (R-MI), the FLSA and its regulations are "exceptionally complex and outdated .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.