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Ninth Circuit Holds Service Advisors Non-Exempt Under FLSA Dealership "Salesman" Exemption; Section 7(i) Exemption Is Still Available

The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (with jurisdiction over the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington) has ruled in Navarro v. Encino Motorcars, LLC that Service Advisors employed by automobile dealerships do not qualify for the Section 13(b)(10)(A) overtime exemption under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. It is the first court to have held this way

Proposed FLSA Exemption Changes Still In Limbo

Employers await with bated breath the release of the U.S. Labor Department's proposed new definitions for the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's Section 13(a)(1) executive, administrative, professional, outside-sales, and derivative exemptions. Apparently, they will just have to keep waiting – for how long, the U.S. Labor Department will not say.

Captain Obvious Issues Most Obvious FLSA Decision of 2015 (So Far...)

It happens every year: I read a decision from a federal judge about the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and shake my head that it actually took litigation to resolve such an obvious question. It is only March, but 2015 already is no different. A recent decision by a federal district judge in New York compelled me to bring back our periodic Captain Obvious posting.

DOL Secretary Tells Congress New FLSA Regulations Are Delayed, Outlines Department Priorities

Last week, Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez testified during a hearing held by the House Education and Workforce Committee to discuss President Obama’s budget proposal for the Department of Labor. Secretary Perez’s testimony touched a wide range of topics, most notably the oft-delayed FLSA regulations rewrite we have discussed in recent months. The DOL Secretary also echoed President Obama’s call for an increase in the federal minimum wage, despite the action of 17 states to enact increases in the past few years.

New FLSA Regulations Set to be Released in First Quarter of 2015 Likely to Change America’s Overtime Pay Landscape

In March 2014, President Obama issued an Executive Order directing the Secretary of Labor to “update and modernize” the overtime exemption rules under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), (the “Act”), 29 U.S.C. 201 et seq., a federal law that establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and youth employment standards in the private sector and in Federal, State, and local governments. These new regulations, forthcoming by the United States Department of Labor, are set to be released in the next several weeks

February Comes and Goes with No Action by DOL on New FLSA Regulations

The calendar has flipped from February to March, but there is still nothing from the Department of Labor regarding new regulations governing the Fair Labor Standards Act. Don’t worry, you haven’t missed anything. The DOL missed its February deadline and has not announced any new deadlines just yet. As we have written here, the new regulation is intended to implement President Obama’s directive to modernize and streamline FLSA regulations for executive, administrative, and professional employees. Although the calendar has changed to February, the page where the regulations, or at least a final release date, would be announced has yet to change.

"No Opinion Letters" Policy Reaffirmed

From the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's inception in 1938, employers sought, and officials of the U.S. Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division provided, official written explanations of how that law works in particular situations. These "opinion letters" served as an important means by which the public could develop a clearer understanding of what FLSA compliance entailed.

Whose Time Is It Anyway? Key Decisions Clarify the Meaning of Compensable Time

Late last year, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion in Integrity Staffing Solutions v. Busk, providing some clarity regarding whether employees must be compensated for certain "mandatory" activities engaged in before they start and after they finish their workday. The plaintiffs, contract workers assigned to an Amazon.com, Inc. fulfillment facility, accused their employer, Integrity Staffing Solutions, of violating the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by failing to compensate them for the time they were required to spend each day going through a theft-prevention security checkpoint before leaving the warehouse. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, when presented with the issue, held that the security screenings were compensable employment activities, reasoning that "the screenings were 'necessary' to the employees' primary work as warehouse employees and done for Integrity Staffing's benefit."

End of Comment Period Nears for Proposed Changes to Payroll Cards

On December 23, 2014, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that seeks to regulate a number of prepaid products under Regulation E (a federal banking regulation), including payroll cards. While payroll cards already are subject to Regulation E, the NPRM would impose a number of new requirements on financial institutions that issue payroll cards, including requiring proposed disclosure forms that (1) advise employees that they do not need to receive a payroll card; (2) focus solely on fees and (3) require extensive paperwork for credit features such as overdraft protection.

Federal Court Holds That Immigration Law Does Not Preclude FLSA Liquidated Damages Award

In many ways, federal immigration laws and various labor and employment laws, including the FLSA, may appear fundamentally at odds with each other: prohibiting work by undocumented workers on one hand, but allowing them to recover damages when they are not paid work on the other. We have examined this issue with state laws in the past on this blog, and published lengthier articles on the topic elsewhere as well. This past month, the District of Arizona confronted a damages question concerning the intersection of these laws in Vallejo v. Azteca Electrical Construction.