join our network! affiliate login  
Custom Search
GET OUR FREE EMAIL NEWSLETTERS!
Daily and Weekly Editions • Articles • Alerts • Expert Advice • Learn More

USDOL Guidance Released On "Adult Foster Care", "Shared Living Arrangements"

We reported earlier that the U.S. Labor Department has issued a Final Rule re-stating the requirements for and limitations upon the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's Section 13(a)(15) "companionship exemption". The changes are effective in January 2015. As has been widely discussed, this exemption will then no longer be available to third-party employers under the new regulations.

Looking into My Crystal Ball at the Future of FLSA Regulations

Last month, I wrote about the Obama Administration’s Presidential Memorandum to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) instructing its Secretary to update regulations regarding overtime protection for workers under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the federal law that establishes minimum wage and overtime pay requirements. Since then, DOL Secretary Perez has spoken publicly about the possible scope of the changes.

Can We Define "Full Time" to Mean Something Less Than 40 Hours Per Week?

Q. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), do we have to define “full time” to mean 40 hours per week, or is that left to employers’ discretion? Can we maintain a 40-hour standard for wage and hour purposes, but have a lower threshold for certain benefits, like paid time off accrual or supplementary health care coverage?

A New Fad – Raising the Minimum Wage

A centerpiece of President Obama’s current legislative agenda is raising the federal minimum wage. While many doubt a bill raising the federal minimum wage will be passed by Congress, President Obama’s call for such legislation has spurred many states and municipalities to act. In Pennsylvania, two state senators, Daylin Leach and Mike Stack, just introduced legislation that would raise the minimum wage to $12.00 and prohibit businesses from paying workers who receive tips an amount less than the state mandated minimum wage. Likewise, Connecticut recently joined this arena when Governor Dannel Malloy signed into law a bill that incrementally raises the state’s minimum wage over the next three years. Under the legislation passed in Connecticut, the minimum wage will increase on January 1, 2015 from $8.70 to $9.15 and thereafter incrementally go up until 2017 when it will be set at $10.10. If no other state acts between now and 2017, Connecticut will surpass Washington as the state with the highest minimum wage (the minimum wage in the District of Columbia is set to increase in 2016 to $11.50). However, Maryland and Hawaii are both considering similar pieces of legislation meaning Connecticut likely will not be the last state to raise its minimum wage to $10.10 or higher.

Major League Baseball Volunteers Are not Employees Under the FLSA

On March 26, 2014, the District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed John Chen’s proposed Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) collective action against Major League Baseball (MLB) alleging that MLB had failed to pay him and all other All-Star Week FanFest volunteers the minimum wage. In Chen v. Major League Baseball, et al., the court held that volunteers, who had worked at MLB’s FanFest experience at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City, were not entitled to minimum wage because the FLSA exempts from its minimum wage provisions individuals who perform services for an “amusement or recreational establishment.”

What Do Dinosaurs and Your Salaried Employees Have In Common?

Increasing the minimum wage for federal contractors is not the only change President Obama is looking to make to federal wage and hour laws. Recently, the President signed a Presidential Memorandum directing the federal Department of Labor to modernize regulations governing the executive, administrative, and professional exemptions from minimum wage and overtime.

President Obama's "Equal Pay" Executive Orders: Much Ado About (Almost) Nothing?

President Obama has again announced executive actions directed solely toward federal contractors – this time, addressing pay equity. The first Executive Order prohibits federal contractors from retaliating against employees for discussing their compensation. The second, a Presidential memorandum, directs the U.S. Department of Labor to propose regulations requiring federal contractors to submit data on employee compensation. Both directives were issued yesterday, on "equal pay day."*

President Obama Takes Executive Action on National Equal Pay Day

On April 8, 2014, the President signed an Executive Order prohibiting federal contractors from retaliating against employees who choose to discuss their compensation. The President also issued a Memorandum instructing the Secretary of Labor to establish new regulations requiring federal contractors to submit to the Department of Labor (DOL) summary data on compensation paid to their employees, including data by sex and race. These executive actions were issued on Equal Pay Day, and implement the less drastic provisions of the Paycheck Fairness Act for federal contractors, which failed to advance in the Senate.

Looking into My Crystal Ball at the Future of FLSA Regulations

Last month, I wrote about the Obama Administration’s Presidential Memorandum to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) instructing its Secretary to update regulations regarding overtime protection for workers under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the federal law that establishes minimum wage and overtime pay requirements. Since then, DOL Secretary Perez has spoken publicly about the possible scope of the changes. I’ve also spoken at a couple of events on this issue, and have gotten three questions: Can the president really do this? What do you think DOL will do? How soon could this happen? I wanted to share my thoughts on these three questions and give you a sense of what I think about the direction the DOL will take when it does propose new rules.

Disinformation And The "Tipped-Employee Minimum Wage"

A White House report promoting a substantial jump in the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's minimum wage perpetuates now-widely-disseminated propaganda about an alleged "tipped employee minimum wage" of $2.13 per hour.