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Yes, Employers Can Still Have Unpaid Interns (Under the Right Circumstances)

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. I hope that our more recent discussions of lawsuits that demonstrate the ever-narrowing segment of lawful unpaid internships have spurred some discussions and re-examination among readers of this blog who have internship programs. Judging by some of the calls and e-mails we have received since then, employers have begun seriously considering whether those unpaid internships are really free labor. However, hope is not lost—it is still possible to have unpaid interns under the right circumstances, as one recent New Jersey case demonstrated.

Interim "Contractor Minimum Wage" Acquisition Rules To Be Released (Updated 12 15 14)

The Department of Defense, the General Services Administration, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration have announced that they will soon publish interim Federal Acquisition Regulation amendments designed to implement President Obama's directive to raise the minimum-wage rate for workers on federal contracts to $10.10 per hour beginning January 1, 2015.

A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing is Still a Wolf: The FLSA Regular Rate and Breach of Contract

Recently, I read about a construction contractor in Los Angeles caught in the middle of litigation between its subcontractors and the city, on behalf of the subcontractor’s former employees. According to the employees, the subcontractors had allegedly promised to pay them the prevailing wage for that area of $49.00 per hour, but had only paid them $5.00 to $8.00 instead. Ultimately, the complaint focused on the subcontractors’ falsification of records and misclassification of employees, and related city and state law violations, rather than which rate was the real “regular rate” for FLSA purposes: the proper $49.00 per hour prevailing wage rate the subcontractors had promised, or the actual $5.00 to $8.00 rate they paid. But what if the employees had sought overtime based on the higher rate? Would dressing up a breach of contract claim as one for overtime under the FLSA have worked?

Security Check-Out is Not "Compensable" Work Time, Supreme Court Says

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court handed a big win to contractors for Amazon.com. The Court unanimously held that time spent by employees in security screenings when exiting from warehouses after their work shifts did not have to be compensated under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Can Your Home Care Agency Afford to Employ "Sleep-Ins"?

Under the Department of Labor's Final Rule on Domestic Service, a "Sleep-In" worker is one who is required to be on duty for 24 hours or more. This worker differs from a "Live-In Domestic Services Employee" ("Live-In") who (1) provides services in a private home, and (2) resides on the employer's premises on a "permanent basis" (works and sleeps at the employer's premises and has no home of his or her own), or for "extended periods of time" (works and sleeps at the employer's premises for five days a week (120 hours or more)) or resides there for five consecutive nights or days at a time.

Workers Not Entitled to Pay for Security Check Time

Employers should be relieved to know that they are not required to pay employees for security check time. In a unanimous opinion issued Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court held that workers are not entitled to be paid for time spent waiting for and undergoing post-shift anti-theft screenings under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as amended by the Portal to Portal Act.

Will The President's Immigration Initiative Spur FLSA Claims?

Lurking among the numerous considerations raised by President Obama's "immigration accountability" initiative are the prospects that this action will result in more allegations by or on behalf of the affected individuals that they have not been paid in compliance with the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.

Supreme Court Narrows Test for Compensable Time Under the FLSA

Executive Summary: On December 9, 2014, the United States Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision favorable to employers significantly limiting the types of preliminary and postliminary activities that are compensable under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). In Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk, the Court held that the time spent by warehouse workers waiting to undergo and undergoing security screenings before leaving for the day is not compensable.

Unanimous U.S. Supreme Court: Security Screenings Non-Compensable Under FLSA

The Supreme Court further explained how to determine whether time spent at work is "preliminary" or "postliminary" and therefore not compensable under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. Per the Court:

eLABORate: Supreme Court Holds Security Screening Time Non-Compensable Under the FLSA

On December 9, 2014, in a 9-0 decision, the United States Supreme Court held that employees’ time spent waiting to undergo and undergoing security screenings is not compensable time under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk, No. 13-433, 2014 WL 6885951 (2014).