Category Archives: Department of Labor

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DOL Issues New FMLA, FLSA Guidance to Employers

DOL
Last week, the Department of Labor (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) issued its first three opinion letters of 2019 concerning the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). These opinion letters are a helpful tool for employers to understand their rights and responsibilities under the law. Employers may even rely … Continue reading this entry

DOL Issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to Increase Salary Thresholds

Proposed
On March 7, 2019, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would increase the minimum salaried basis threshold required to be paid to employees under the white collar exemptions (e.g., executive, administrative, and professional). Under current regulations, to avoid paying overtime, employers must pay employees at least $455/week ($23,660/year) … Continue reading this entry

Two Department of Labor Agencies Announce Recent Developments: EEOC and OFCCP

OFCCP
OFCCP Audit Scheduling Letters Available Online – On Friday, February 22, 2019, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) announced that it is on schedule to post its next set of Corporate Scheduling Announcement Lists (CSALs) in the department’s FOIA Library next month (around mid- to late-March). As a reminder to our readers who … Continue reading this entry

Your Get of Out Jail Free Card: Tips to Avoid Pitfalls Under the Texas Wage Theft Act

jail
In the classic version of the iconic board game Monopoly, “Monopoly Jail” is the first corner space after “Go.” When playing the game, no one really wants to be sent to jail, as it immediately takes away your turn and ends your ability to keep collecting money and property. The same is true about your … Continue reading this entry

New Year, Old Test? NLRB’s Continuing Efforts to Roll Back Obama-Era Joint Employment Standard Hit Another Roadblock

NLRB
If the NLRB were a TV drama (imagine the ratings!), the most recent Christmastime decision by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals would have been a season-ending cliffhanger. It leaves the future of joint employment in doubt and is yet another reminder that employers must remain vigilant around joint employment issues.… Continue reading this entry

Putting PAID to Non-Compliant Payroll Practices: Is the DOL’s Payroll Self-Audit Program Right for You?

payroll
Remember full-service gas stations? These days, we have self-service pumps. Remember cashiers at the grocery store? Now, most chains offer self-service checkout. Remember the DOL auditing your labor practices? Not so fast – they still do that. But now employers can take the “do-it-yourself” approach too!  While it is easy to see the convenience and … Continue reading this entry

You Can Pay Exempt Employees Their Guaranteed Salaries on an Hourly, Daily, or Shift Basis, and the Department of Labor Has Given Some Tips on How to Do It Correctly

Proposed
Human resources and other professionals who review job positions for possible exemptions under the federal wage and hour law (the Fair Labor Standards Act or FLSA) are familiar with the “salary basis” and “job duties” tests. Employees who work in jobs that meet both tests and who work in true executive, administrative, or professional capacities … Continue reading this entry

DOL Reverses Course on “80/20” Limitations for Tipped Employees

DOL
On November 8, 2018, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued 4 new opinion letters providing both employers and employees further insight into the agency’s views regarding compliance with federal labor laws.  While the letters touch on a variety of issues, perhaps the most notable change involves the DOL’s about-face regarding the amount of “non-tipped” work … Continue reading this entry

Check Your COBRA Notices in Order to Avoid Potential Lawsuits

ACA
Have you thought about your COBRA notices recently? Of course not, because COBRA notices don’t warrant your valuable time. They are just another one of those pesky notices that the law requires you to send. If that was your reaction, you may want to rethink it.… Continue reading this entry

Are Independent Contractor Classifications Becoming “Safer”? In a Word – No.

Safer
As we will describe in this and its companion article, if you are an employer viewing such classifications optimistically in light of some recent legal developments, you should do so fully aware of the attendant perils. One might be excused for thinking (from an employer-biased point of view) that the independent contractor minefield might be … Continue reading this entry

Wage and Hour Compliance – Better Guard Your Own Parking Spot

wage
Many companies at one time or another get overtime compliance wrong, at least to some degree. It’s an expensive topic. Liability under federal law for failing to correctly pay overtime comes at the hefty price of all unpaid overtime for two years (three when its willful, and even longer under some state laws), multiplied by two for … Continue reading this entry

You Might Be a Federal Government Contractor — Better Check Now

federal
If your company: sells goods or services to the federal government; or sells goods or services to companies that use those goods or services in the products they sell to the federal government, you need to read this article. If you have human resource management responsibility, and you do not know to whom your company … Continue reading this entry

OFCCP Signals Emphasis on “Religious Liberty” in Federal Contractor Compliance

OFCCP
On August 10, the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) issued a new policy directive aimed at protecting the religious freedom of employees and ensuring a “level playing field” for religious organizations to compete for federal contracts. While the 2014 Obama administration rule prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender … Continue reading this entry

The Heat Is On: Is Your Company in Compliance with State Sun and Heat Worker Protections?

heat
With summer in full swing and heat waves sweeping the country, it is important that employers comply with any state regulations protecting employees who work outdoors from suffering from heat-related illnesses. Just last week, with the National Weather Service issuing excessive heat warnings for California, Cal/OSHA reminded all employers with outdoor workers to be mindful … Continue reading this entry

No Summer Break for New York State’s and New York City’s Anti-Sexual Harassment Protections

New York
With the summer (and many vacations) now in full swing, it would be easy for employers to miss the anti-sexual harassment protections that were added to the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules (NY CPLR) and New York’s General Obligation Law, effective July 11, 2018, as well as the additional training, policy and other … Continue reading this entry

I Want To Dock My Employee’s Wages Because She Broke Her Laptop – Okay?

wages
The answer to this question depends – is the employee exempt or non-exempt? And, if non-exempt, will the deduction reduce her compensation below the minimum wage or affect her overtime compensation? We live in a time where company-issued computer laptops and tablets are commonplace. It is also fairly certain that, at one time or another, … Continue reading this entry

Trump’s DOL Issues First Opinion Letters

Supreme
Back in January, we reported that the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) was reviving the agency’s practice of issuing opinion letters at the request of employers.  The WHD stopped the practice of issuing opinion letters under the Obama administration back in 2010.  After nearly a decade, the WHD finally issued new opinion … Continue reading this entry

Getting PAID – A New Path for Employers to Address Federal Wage and Hour Violations

wage
It is a dilemma that many employers have faced. You discover that your company violated federal law on minimum wage or overtime payments. You want to fix the problem, but you do not know how to do so without prompting employee demand letters, a Department of Labor audit or, perhaps worst, a class action lawsuit. … Continue reading this entry

April 1, 2018 is Fast Approaching – Are Your Disability Claims Procedures Ready?

Disability
The Department of Labor issued the final disability claims regulations on December 16, 2016. These regulations are effective for all claims filed on or after April 1, 2018. The Department felt the update was needed to provide claimants a full and fair review, to promote fairness and accuracy, and to better protect participants.  The Department … Continue reading this entry

The Department of Labor Restores Bush Era Opinion Letters

wage
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is turning back the clock in a move that it believes will provide clarity for employers who seek to comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). On January 5, 2018, the DOL reinstated 17 opinion letters to employers that were published in January 2009, during the final month … Continue reading this entry

Are You Required to Pay Your Interns?

Proposed
For-profit employers occasionally bring on unpaid interns to work at the company. The question employers must ask is whether an unpaid intern is actually an employee and, therefore, entitled to be paid minimum wage and overtime pay under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  If an intern is not an employee under the FLSA, … Continue reading this entry

Labor Department Proposes A Reversal Of Its Current Tip-Pooling Rules

DOL
On December 5, the Department of Labor published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to reverse its 2011 rule prohibiting employers from sharing tips obtained by service workers with non-tipped staff. The proposed rule would allow employers who pay at least minimum wage (without taking a tip credit) to share tips through a tip pool with … Continue reading this entry

Ninth Circuit Deviates from Guidance and Other Authority on Tip Credits

Tip
We have previously discussed how the Department of Labor (DOL) often issues guidance to assist employers in applying and complying with the DOL’s various regulations. The federal courts generally follow this guidance when analyzing the related regulations, but they are not obligated to do so, as is evident from a recent ruling by the United … Continue reading this entry

Overtime Exemption Increases: Not Now, But (Probably) Soon

Overtime
As our readers are aware, we have devoted a good amount of space to discussing the status of the Department of Labor’s (DOL) final rule on exemptions from overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). After a topsy-turvy year-and-a-half, in which multiple courts’ issues opined on the status of that rule, we recently asked … Continue reading this entry