Continuing the practice it reinstituted during the current administration, on August 31, 2020 the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage Hour Division (WHD) issued four new Opinion Letters, addressing a variety of topics. That brings the total to 57 Opinion Letters issued since 2018, including the re-publication of 17 Opinion
Articles Discussing Hours Worked Under The FLSA.
On August 31, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) released opinion letter FLSA2020-14.
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Wage and Hour Division (WHD) issued an opinion letter on August 31, 2020 addressing whether the fluctuating workweek method of compensation may be used when an employee’s weekly hours fluctuate only above and not below 40 hours per week. The WHD concluded there is no requirement, under the FLSA or its interpreting regulations and guidance, that an employee’s hours worked fluctuate below 40 hours per week when utilizing the fluctuating workweek method for determining overtime compensation.
This week, the federal Department of Labor (DOL) issued a field assistance bulletin explaining employers’ obligations when it comes to tracking compensable hours worked by non-exempt employees who are teleworking during the pandemic. The guidance provides helpful reminders for employers on this subject.
On June 8, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) published its revised fluctuating workweek methodology regulation for calculating overtime in the Federal Register. The new final rule goes into effect on August 7, 2020.
Does an employer’s business qualify as a “retail or service establishment” for the purpose of satisfying the exemption requirements of section 207(i) of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act? The answer to this question might have just changed based on the Department of Labor’s (DOL) recent regulatory action.
Background: The US Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (DOL) is attempting to provide clarity and predictability to one of the most confusing areas of wage and hour law – the fluctuating workweek. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to pay non-exempt employees time and a half
Rejecting employer Timberline South’s argument, among others, that FLSA coverage did not apply because all of its timber harvesting occurred only within one state, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals nevertheless concluded that the commuting and meal break times should not have been included in the trial court’s calculation of overtime damages. Secretary of Labor v. Timberline South, LLC, 920 F.3d 1065 (6th Cir. 2019). The Sixth Circuit includes the federal courts in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.
In Reinig v. RBS Citizens, N.A.,1 a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit overturned a district court’s decision certifying a class of mortgage loan officers (“MLOs”) who claimed they were unlawfully denied overtime pay for work performed off-the-clock. This precedential decision is significant for three reasons:
Affirming a district court order dismissing a putative class action, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has held that Taco Bell’s policy of requiring employees to eat employer-discounted meals in the restaurant does not convert the meal period into “on duty” time such that the meal period becomes compensable under California law. Rodriguez v. Taco Bell Corporation, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 19825 (9th Cir. July 18, 2018).
Yesterday, the Department of Labor (DOL) under the Trump administration issued its first wage-hour opinion letters. Two of these opinion letters may be of general interest to employers and concern issues of (1) when an employee’s travel time must be compensated as hours worked under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and (2) when break time taken by employees for medical reasons (protected by the FMLA) must be compensated under the FLSA.
Executive Summary: The Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor (DOL) issued two opinion letters today, April 12, 2018. One opinion addressed when employers must pay employees for travel time away from their homes and the second dealt with compensability of rest breaks covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Essentially, the DOL stated that employers are not required to pay for travel time where an employee has no regular working hours if the employer uses one of the permissible methods for identifying the employee’s normal working hours in determining whether travel time is compensable. In another opinion, the DOL addressed the issue of FMLA-protected employees who need fifteen-minute breaks every hour. The DOL concluded that such large, frequent break times were non-compensable under both the FLSA and the FMLA because the breaks predominantly benefitted the employee. It noted, however, that these FMLA-protected employees must be compensated for break time provided to all employees, such as two fifteen-minute breaks per day.
Dear Littler: We are going to replace the punch-card timeclocks in our U.S. facilities with timeclocks that allow employees to “clock in” each day using their fingerprint. I’ve read about a flood of recently filed class action litigation against companies that collected biometric information and understand that many of these cases have been filed against employers that use biometric timeclocks. Can we go ahead and roll out the timeclocks? Or is there something more that we need to do?
Concluding that the unstructured time spent by the plaintiffs between arriving at the oil refinery and the beginning of their shifts was not “integral and indispensable” to their duties erecting scaffolds at the refinery, the Fifth Circuit held that this time was not compensable under the FLSA. Bridges v. Empire Scaffold, LLC, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 22520 (5th Cir. Nov. 9, 2017).
As Hurricane Harvey continues to wreak havoc on Houston, Texas, and surrounding areas, undoubtedly, many businesses have been damaged or destroyed, while others have closed temporarily for safety and security reasons. These businesses may remain closed, or operate with limited hours, for days, weeks, or possibly months. When such closures occur as a result of nature’s forces, what are an employer’s obligations to continue paying its employees?