As discussed in Part I (posted earlier this week), a number of states and local municipalities have enacted paid sick leave legislation mandating paid time away from work for employees. While some of these laws are already in effect, others are coming soon.  Employers with operations in the following areas should revisit their policies and make adjustments as needed to plan for these upcoming changes:
Continue Reading New Paid Sick Leave Laws Compel Employers to React — and Prepare (Part II)

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued new proposed regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to dramatically increase the minimum salary required for most exempt employees to remain exempt going forward.  The DOL regulations generated a huge number of comments, but now the DOL is getting ready to issue their final regulations and put the new requirements in place.
Continue Reading Wage & Hour Law Changes: What Does It All REALLY Mean?

President Obama instructed the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) yesterday to change regulations to expand the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) overtime provisions, in an effort to provide time-and-a-half wages to more employees.  The President signed a memorandum instructing his Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez to “update” the DOL’s regulations regarding which employees are exempt from the FLSA’s coverage, and which employees are non-exempt, and thus must be paid time-and-a-half their regular wage rate for all hours worked beyond 40 hours in a week.  The White House also issued a “fact-sheet” on the issue.

While it is not clear exactly what the DOL may do in response to the President’s direction, many feel that one likely step will be an attempt by the DOL to amend the FLSA’s regulations to raise the salary requirement employees must meet to qualify as an exempt executive, administrative or professional employee.  The current salary requirement is at least $455 per week, an amount established with the last set of DOL changes to the FLSA’s regulations back in 2004.  (Prior to 2004, the salary amount was $250, a number which had stayed constant since 1975.)Continue Reading President Pushes for More Overtime

Sometimes employment lawsuits are so “funny” they almost literally make steam come out of your ears.  In one recent case, the “employee’s” claim for unpaid overtime was particularly infuriating because she never worked for her alleged employer.

The Tampa Bay Times ran an article yesterday about a business in Pinellas Park, Florida that was sued for alleged unpaid overtime by two former employees.  The business owner didn’t believe he owed anyone any overtime or that he had violated the FLSA, so he hired an attorney to fight the lawsuit.  He was upset about having to spend money to defend himself, but he was even more concerned because he had never heard of one of the two plaintiffs suing him, even though he knew all of his current and former employees.
Continue Reading Sued for Unpaid Overtime by Someone Who Never Worked?!?

A few years ago, the New York Times ran an article about investigations into the legality of unpaid internships at for-profit businesses, explaining that such investigations were being conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as by the labor departments of several states, including California, Oregon, and New York.

At that time, many practitioners expected that there would be a tidal wave of class action lawsuits brought by former unpaid interns but, surprisingly, that wave did not come…until now. 
Continue Reading Are Your Unpaid Interns Going To Rebel?

We have all heard the phrase “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”  There are many different reactions to that phrase:  some are appreciative, some are cynical, and some are not appropriate to be repeated in this blog.  One recent effort to help by our federal government is sure to receive those varied reactions – and is also certain to bolster lawsuits against employers that are not meticulous about recording their employees’ hours and correctly paying their wages. 
Continue Reading Want To Be Sued For Wage & Hour Violations? Yes, There’s An App For That Too.