Category Archives: Wage & Hour

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5th Circuit Rejects NLRB's Position on Class/Collective Action Waivers

On December 3, 2013, in a landmark decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (“Fifth Circuit”) in D.R. Horton, Inc. v. National Labor Relations Board, rejected the argument that the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) banned class and collective action waivers in employment arbitration agreements.  This decision overturned the National Labor Relations … Continue reading this entry

Avoid Investigations Through Labor Law Compliance

The U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division has set its aim – with ample ammunition – on the restaurant industry. Focusing on overtime, minimum wage and record-keeping violations, the enforcement initiative has recovered millions of dollars in back wages and penalties from restaurants throughout the country. In a stated effort to protect the … Continue reading this entry

Genesis Health Care Corp. v. Symczyk--A Magic Bullet for FLSA Class Actions?

On April 16, 2013, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that a defendant employer’s settlement offer to a plaintiff mooted the plaintiff’s claim and prevented her from leading a collective action for unpaid wages.  The controversial ruling by a sharply divided Court suggests employers may be able to avoid collective actions under the … Continue reading this entry

DOL Focuses on Rulemaking Agenda - What does this mean?

On February 13, 2012, Labor Solicitor M. Patricia Smith spoke at a seminar at the Practising Law Institute.  She stated that the DOL was focused on aggressively making rules rather than issuing guidance.  As an example, the DOL proposed new rules which would all but eliminate the “companionship services” exemption.  The proposal would give most … Continue reading this entry

Roundtable Sparks FLSA Discussion

On January 25, 2012, Gardere’s Employment Attorneys hosted a roundtable for its Senior HR Executive and In-House Counsel clients.  The discussion centered around their most significant employment challenges in 2012.  Among the topics discussed were dealing with off the clock work which continues to be an area of significant risk to many employers.  Gardere attorneys … Continue reading this entry

DOL Wage and Hour App

The U.S. Department of Labor announced the launch of its first application for smartphones, a timesheet to help employees independently track the hours they work and determine the wages they are owed. Available in English and Spanish, users conveniently can track regular work hours, break time and any overtime hours for one or more employers. … Continue reading this entry

2011 HR Resolutions

As you start making your 2011 HR/Employment Law checklist, here are some items to consider: 1) Independent contractors. Employers remain well advised to closely review their use of independent contractors and ensure that the individuals are truly contractors. This matter remains high on the DOL and IRS watch lists.… Continue reading this entry

Emotional Distress & Punitive Damages Unvailable in FLSA Retaliation Claims

The FLSA imposes minimum labor standards upon employers, including the payment of a minimum wage and overtime pay for covered employees. In order to facilitate enforcement, the FLSA includes an anti-retaliation provision which makes it unlawful for an employer to discharge or in any other manner discriminate against any employee who complains of wage and … Continue reading this entry

Caveat Employer: Beware Texas Courts' Differing Approaches to Calculating Damages in Misclassification Suits

When an employer fails to pay overtime compensation to an employee who was misclassified as exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act (the “FLSA”), the damage award can be extremely large.  There are two different methods of calculating how much the employer owes, and Texas courts disagree as to which is the proper approach.  This … Continue reading this entry