Overtime: Steer clear of the comp time trap

Awarding comp time for extra hours worked is a common strategy that can backfire. The Fair Labor Standards Act lays out strict rules for what basis can be used for awarding comp time and when it’s illegal to give comp time in lieu of cash overtime.

Is it legal to dock nonexempts' pay if they clock in late after breaks?

Q. We give employees the choice of using two 10-minute breaks each day or combining them into one 20-minute lunch break. The employees are required to punch out and in for these breaks. Now, we have a policy that docks employees 15 minutes’ pay if they’re four or more minutes late returning from a break. Is this legal?

Harrisburg, Pa., mayor's bookstore settles overtime complaint


Harrisburg, Pa., Mayor Eric Papenfuse touted his business experience when running for mayor in 2013, but outdated accounting software may have led him to violate the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Fired Pittsburgh TV anchor sues station for race bias

A former Pittsburgh news anchor whose social media post led to community outrage and her eventual firing is suing the TV station where she worked.

Watch out for retaliation after employee has complained about bias or harassment

Sure it’s frustrating when an employee gripes about general workplace problems. Don’t let that frustration spill over into retaliation. If the worker is making a good-faith complaint about alleged discrimination or harassment, he’s protected from retaliation.

Joint employer enforcement snares Philly-area jeweler


A Melrose Park, Pa., jewelry distributor for several major department stores and the temp agency that provides its workers have agreed to settle allegations that as joint employers they violated the Fair Labor Standards Act.

DOL mounts vigorous defense against business groups' lawsuits

It’s been a busy summer for the beleaguered lawyers at the U.S. Department of Labor. On Aug. 19, the DOL filed briefs in three separate cases filed against it in federal courts, covering everything from benefits advice to safety records to resisting unionization.

Bad bosses: Beware quid pro quo harassment

To win a quid pro quo sexual harassment case, an employee has to show that two things occurred.

Reclassifying staff? Beware 7 big pay mistakes

Organizations across the country are responding to the U.S. Depart­ment of Labor’s new overtime salary threshold by reclassifying some of their white-collar exempt employees into overtime-eligible nonexempts. Starting Dec. 1, the new DOL rules take effect that nearly double the salary threshold at which most salaried workers become exempt from having to be paid overtime.

For better or worse, managers set the tone

A Connecticut garment maker will pay $80,000 to settle an EEOC sexual harassment lawsuit.

4 steps for implementing a litigation hold

Smart employers educate staff about acceptable email use and follow a regular policy of computer-file purging to keep the organization’s network free of unnecessary data. But what if your organization thinks it may be a lawsuit target?

California's San Miguel Homes agrees to $425,000 FLSA settlement

San Miguel Homes for the Elderly, an assisted-living facility in the Bay Area, has ended its militant opposition to U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division (WHD) enforcement efforts and agreed to pay $425,000 in back wages to 26 caregivers.

Palm Desert, Calif., buffet settles flat-rate pay claims for $128K

The owners of Hibachi City Buffet in Palm Desert, Calif., will pay more than $128,000 in back wages and penalties following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division.

Nickle-and-diming plaintiff? Prepare to pay yourself

If you pester an employee who is suing you with expensive pretrial tactics, you may wind up on the hook for his legal bills.

$1.5 million harassment cost for Madera, Calif., company

One of the nation’s largest dried fruit processors, Z Foods in Madera, Calif., has agreed to pay $1,470,000 to settle sexual harassment and retaliation charges leveled in an EEOC lawsuit.
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