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Showing 28 posts in Wage and Hour.

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 ›

An Employer’s Pocket Survival Guide to the New Overtime Regulations

The overtime regulations are almost here and will affect more than 4 million employees across the country. Although a pending lawsuit seeks to halt the regulations, employers should prepare for the probability that they will soon be faced with new rules for paying white collar employees. The most significant change made by the overtime regulations will raise the minimum salary level for the white collar—executive, administrative and professional—exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) from $455 per week to $913 per week. After December 1, 2016, any employee earning below that threshold will no longer fall under the white collar exemptions from overtime pay. Read More ›

Chicago City Council Passes Mandatory Paid Sick Leave Ordinance – What Employers Need to Know

In a first of its kind for Illinois,on June 22, 2016, the Chicago City Council passed the Paid Sick Leave Ordinance, making Chicago the latest in a wave of mandatory paid sick leave ordinances around the country.

Chicago’s Ordinance, which becomes effective next year on July 1, 2017, would require most Chicago employers to provide the following:

  • Employees accrue paid sick leave (“Paid Leave”) of at least one hour for every 40 hours worked, up to a maximum of 40 hours per 12-month period.
  • Employees can carry over up to half of their accrued Paid Leave, up to a maximum of 20 hours, from one year to the next.
  • For employers that are covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), employees may carry over up to 40 hours of unused Paid Leave. An employee who uses the carried over 40-hours of FMLA leave for FMLA covered purposesis entitled to use an additional 20 hours of accrued Paid Leave in the same 12-month period, increasing the employer’s Paid Leave obligation to 60 hours.
  • Covered “family members” includeindividuals related by blood or whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship.

Coverage

The ordinance would apply to any individual (including partnership, association, corporation, limited liability company, business trust, or any person or group of persons) that gainfully employs at least one eligible employee and maintains a business facility within the geographic boundaries Chicago. The ordinance exempts employers who provide their employees paid time off in an amount and manner that meets or exceeds the ordinance’s minimum standards and requirements.

The ordinance defines “employee” to cover any individual permitted to work by an employer who works in Chicago for at least 80 hours in any 120-day period. The ordinance excludes a number of workers from coverage, including certain employees employed in agriculture or aquaculture, outside salesmen, members of a religious corporation or organization, and any employee working in the construction industry who is covered by a bona fide collective bargaining agreement. 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 ›

NLRB Refines Standard for Determining Joint Employer Status

In Browning-Ferris Industries of California, a 3-2 decision issued on August 27, 2015, the National Labor Relations Board departed from its long-standing principles for determining joint-employer status. In the decision, the Board held that two entities are joint employers if: (1) they are both employers within the meaning of the common law; and (2) they share or codetermine those matters governing the essential terms and conditions of employment (i.e., hiring, firing, discipline, supervision, job responsibilities, work hours, breaks, rules, etc.). 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 ›

Sixth Circuit Affirms Limits on Employees’ Ability to be Paid for Minor Impositions Made During Meal Breaks

This week, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decided two cases affirming that under the Fair Labor Standards Act, employees seeking compensation for work related activities performed during lunch breaks have the burden to show that they spent their meal time predominantly for the employer’s benefit, and that employees are precluded from recovering when they do not follow an established reporting procedure.  These cases clearly establish that minor burdens during meal breaks, such as monitoring radios or being available for emergencies, are not significant enough to convert the breaks to compensable work time.  Consequently, the Sixth Circuit further clarified its stance that, so long as the break is still primarily for the employees’ benefit, the time need not be counted for overtime pay calculation purposes. Read More ›