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Posts by Robert A. Boonin

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Showing 20 posts by Robert A. Boonin.

Is “Comp-Time” in the Private Sector Just Over the Horizon?

Earlier this week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed, by a 229-197 margin, the Working Families Flexibility Act (HR 1180). The Act, if passed by the Senate and signed by the President, will introduce the concept of “compensatory time” (a/k/a “comp-time”) to the private sector workplace. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, comp-time has existed in the public sector for many decades, but absent the passage of this Act, it is not permissible in the private sector. Read More ›

New FLSA Regulations Enjoined!

We have posted several blog entries regarding the FLSA regulations announced in May that drastically increased the minimum salary threshold for most executive, administrative and professional employees from $455 per week (or $23,660 per year) to $913 per week (or $47,476 per year). Late Tuesday afternoon, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas granted a motion brought on behalf of 21 states and supported by business groups led by the United States Chamber of Commerce to preliminarily enjoin the new overtime exemption regulations set to go into effect on December 1, 2016.  

The Elements for Preliminary Relief Were Satisfied by the States

At the outset, the court had to determine if the states will “likely succeed on the merits” as the case is further litigated, and if a permanent injunction is on the horizon. The states’ case was premised on both constitutional and statutory grounds. The court concluded that while the states’ constitutional claims were unlikely to succeed, their statutory arguments appeared strong and likely to succeed.  Read More ›

One Down, One to Go: Courts Weigh In on Enjoining DOL Persuader and FLSA Exemption Rules

Over the course of the last year, the U.S. Department of Labor promulgated two controversial regulations triggering court challenges. One rule–known as the “Persuader Rule”–was set to require employer consultants and lawyers to file disclosure reports of any union avoidance activities they engage in, even if that activity was purely advisory in nature and did not involve direct contact with employees. The other rule regards the changes to the overtime exemption regulations, which are set to increase the salary threshold for exempt status from $455 per week to $913 per week, and then to automatically adjust that threshold every three years. Read More ›

NLRB Continues to Make Non-Union Employers Nervous

Last month, the National Labor Relations Board issued two more significant decisions reminding employers – unionized and non-unionized alike – that they may indirectly be subject to the National Labor Relations Act in ways previously unrealized. They did so by making it more difficult for employers using contracted staff or buying the assets of unionized employers to avoid either an obligation to bargain with unions representing the staffing company or predecessor’s employees, or even being locked into the terms unions may have had with those employers upon buying the assets of another employer. Read More ›

The New Overtime Regulations Are Now Official

There’s no longer a basis to speculate or read or ignore the rumors. The Department of Labor (DOL) has finalized its changes to the regulations governing who may be exempt from being paid overtime. The changes will still be dramatic in terms of the number of employees impacted, but employers’ worst fears as to what they might contain did not quite materialize. Read More ›

Supreme Court Upholds Sampling in FLSA Cases

On March 22, 2015, the United States Supreme Court issued an opinion in Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo, making it easier for plaintiffs to maintain class actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act, at least in some contexts. Specifically, at least in some donning and doffing contexts, courts may permit plaintiffs to prove their cases through the use of statistical sampling. For a detailed discussion of this case and its impact, as written for the American Bar Association by one of our employment law partners – Robert Boonin, click here.

The Proposed New Overtime Pay Exemption Rules: What's the Latest Scoop

For months, crystal balls have been working on overdrive trying to predict when the Department of Labor will roll-out the final version of the new white collar overtime pay exemption regulations and what will be in those regulations. While there is no way to accurately make these predictions, there have been some official comments recently made about what can be expected, and it’s not too late for employers to prepare for the new regulations even though the details are still uncertain. Read More ›

U.S. Department of Labor Proposal Rewrites Overtime Exemption: Employers Beware!

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a set of proposed regulations that, if they become law, will dramatically alter the way that many employers are required to compensate their employees. Under the proposed regulations, employers would have to greatly increase the pay of lower paid exempt employees in order for them to continue to be treated as exempt. Read More ›

One Month into NLRB’s New Ambush Election Rules: Non-Unionized Employers’ Fears are Realized

Just over a month ago, the NLRB’s new “quickie election rules,” a/k/a “ambush election rules,” went into effect. After only a month, the impact of the new rules already is being felt.

The Courts

First, on the legal front, the challenges to the new rules are not faring well. Two cases have been filed, one in Texas and the other in Washington, D.C. The Texas court has already thrown out the challenge as being without merit. The D.C. case is still pending, but the court has denied a preliminary injunction, which is an indicator of the court’s view as to the strength, or lack thereof, of the challenge. More challenges may surface, but absent a victory somewhere, it appears that the rules are here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. The Congressional effort to block the rules via legislation also failed. Read More ›

NLRB Shows Expanded Interest In Nonunion Employers

Please note: This article was first published in Law360 on January 16, 2015

It wasn’t too long ago that the National Labor Relations Board rarely concerned itself with the policies and practices of nonunionized employers, particularly when union activity, such as organizing activity, otherwise was not present in the workplace. Lately, though, the NLRB is applying what were often regarded as virtually dormant legal concepts to the nonunionized workplace. Read More ›