Failing to Keep Time Records Can Come Back to Bite You
The Situation: An employer treats all employees it calls “managers” as exempt under the FLSA and so does not keep any time records for them. If these employees later bring an action for unpaid overtime and a court agrees they were improperly classified as exempt, how could the employer’s inability to produce time records affect the case?…READ MORE
So When Do You Need to Pay Employees For Breaks?
The Situation: An employer rolls out a new system under which employees are free to log off and take breaks whenever they choose—but they will only be paid for the time if they log back in within ninety seconds. Is this a violation of the FLSA?…READ MORE
Applying the Administrative Exemption under the FLSA
The Situation: One of the requirements of the administrative exemption of the FLSA is that an employee must have as his or her primary duty “office or non-manual work related to the management or general business operations of the employer or the employer’s customers.” So what exactly does this mean? Do mortgage underwriters meet this requirement?…READ MORE
Can A Volunteer Make a Claim for Unpaid Wages?
The Situation: A small business owner has his girlfriend help him with paperwork and advertising while he tries to grow his business. He does not pay the girlfriend any hourly wage or salary, the idea being that she is pitching in to make his business successful. A year and a half later, the couple breaks up. The girlfriend then claims that she is entitled to compensation under the FLSA. Can she succeed on such a claim?…READ MORE
In Case You Haven’t Already Heard…The New Overtime Rule is Here
We have all been anxiously awaiting the publication of the Department of Labor’s Final Rule updating the overtime regulations since the issuance of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking back in July of 2015. The wait is now over. So what do you need to know about the Final Rule?…READ MORE
Big changes in overtime proposed
Earlier this week, the Department of Labor announced a proposed rule that will greatly expand overtime protections. One of the significant changes is that the white collar exemptions will no longer be applicable to a large group of salaried employees--those making less than $50,440 on an annual basis.…READ MORE
The Second Circuit agrees–an oral complaint to a supervisor may support a retaliation complaint under the FLSA
Back in 2011, the Supreme Court ruled that an oral complaint can serve as the grounds for a retaliation claim under the FLSA. See Kasten v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp., 131 S. Ct. 1325 (2011). But in Kasten, the oral complaint was made to a government agency and so the question still remained—what about an oral complaint to a supervisor? In a recent decision, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals joined other circuits (including the Fourth Circuit) and decided that yes, even an oral complaint to a supervisor can provide the foundation for a retaliation claim under the FLSA—as long as it is sufficiently clear and detailed for a reasonable employer to understand it as an assertion of rights protected by the statute and a call for their protection. Greathouse v. JHS Security Inc., No. 12-4521 (April 20, 2015).…READ MORE
If an employee underreports his time—and his employer knows about it—can the employer use that conduct to get around liability for unpaid overtime under the FLSA?
What if an employee does not keep accurate time records in violation of company policy? Is an employer able to shift the blame onto the employee for any resulting unpaid overtime? In a recent decision from the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, the court found that if the employer knows that the employee is underreporting his time in this way, it cannot rely upon his failure to comply with company policy regarding time records as a defense to a FLSA claim. Bailey v. TitleMax of Georgia, Inc., No. 14-11747 (11th Cir. January 15, 2015).…READ MORE
Court Refuses to Approve Settlement of FLSA Collective Action
One of the unique features of a FLSA action is that any settlement must be approved by the court. At times, this can prove challenging for parties who must not only figure out how to satisfy one another, but how to make sure the court can also get on board with the settlement. In a case recently decided in the Western District of Missouri, the district court refused to approve a FLSA collective action settlement between a group of loan officers and a bank. Branson, et al. v. Pulaski Bank, No. 4:12-CV-01444 (D. Mo. Jan. 12, 2015).…READ MORE
Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Employer as to What is Compensable Time
In March, we reported that the United States Supreme Court had granted cert in a case involving the question of whether time spent by employees working for Amazon.com in security checks at the end of their shifts was compensable under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). On December 9, the Supreme Court issued its ruling in this case and decided that the time that the workers spent waiting to undergo and then undergoing the security screenings was not compensable under the FLSA. See Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk, 574 U.S. ___ (December 9, 2014).…READ MORE