Can a Company Trade Services for Pay?
The Situation: A fitness studio offers its customers the opportunity to trade a free monthly membership for a few hours of cleaning each week. It is a completely voluntary arrangement. Could this later come back to bite the fitness studio?…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
Tipped Employees Must Have Actual Notice of Use of Tip Credit
The tip credit permitted under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) has always presented challenges to restaurants and other employers seeking to apply it correctly. Last month, the First Circuit addressed the tip credit and the question of the type of notice which must be given to employees regarding its use in the case of Perez v. Lorraine Enters., No. 13-1685 (1st Cir. Oct. 1, 2014). The First Circuit ruled that constructive knowledge of the application of the tip credit is not enough, but rather employees must have actual notice that tips are to be treated as part of their wages.…READ MORE
The Fluctuating Workweek—A Working Option?
The general rule under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) is that non-exempt employees have to be paid for overtime at a rate of one and a half times their regular rate of pay. However, there is another option available to employers---the fluctuating workweek method, sometimes called the halftime method. If the fluctuating workweek model applies, an employee that is paid a fixed salary but has hours that fluctuate on a week to week basis is paid at an overtime premium rate of only half time, instead of time and a half. Sounds like a win for the employer, right? But employers must be careful—this model only applies in specific circumstances and if not carefully applied, an employer could end up owing big.…READ MORE