DOL seeks $2 million--and ban from H-2B Visa program

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) hopes to harvest some green from Watsonville, Ca.-based Fernandez Farms. According to the DOL, the farm failed to pay the minimum wage to workers brought into the country under the H-2B visa program.

For class-action lawsuits, independent contractor wording is what matters


Do you use independent contractor agreements that spell out details about how those independent contractors will get the work done? If so, you may soon face a class-action lawsuit from some of those contractors. That’s because the California Supreme Court has now made it easier to file class actions based on little more than what is in those contracts.

Prove executive exemption by demonstrating 'direct involvement' in hiring process


To avoid paying overtime for hours worked over 40 per week, employers have to fit employees into an exempt category. One commonly used exemption is the executive label. But that exemption requires an employee to either be directly involved in hiring and firing or to have his or her recommendations for hiring and firing weigh heavily in the decision-making process.

Senate bill would raise threshold for salaried workers' OT pay

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, has introduced legislation that would make more exempt workers eligible for overtime pay.

Harrisburg, Pa. strip club faces FLSA undressing

A Harrisburg area gentlemen’s club faces a federal lawsuit alleging it failed to pay exotic dancers the minimum wage and proper overtime. Four dancers filed suit in federal court charging the club violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by misclassifying them as independent contractors.

How to maintain independent contractor status: Don't exert too much control

You may be tempted to reclassify certain workers as independent contractors to avoid taxes, benefits and other liabilities. But federal and state agencies are getting tougher on weeding out misclassifications.

Should we be paying for the trip from our home office to the work site?

Q. One of our work crews needs to drive to a single work site during the day. One employee drives a truck and trailer with tools and equipment from our main facility. We would like to allow other employees to save gas by riding in the company’s truck. Do we need to pay employees for this commute time?

DOL releases regulatory agenda for remainder of 2014, early 2015

Twice every year, federal agencies offer an unheralded but revealing peek at their upcoming priorities. The Department of Labor’s most recent semiannual regulatory agenda, released in late May, provides enforcement clues employers should heed.

For wage litigation, no disguising common ownership

Setting up several different corporations to run related enterprises won’t insulate the businesses from liability for wage-and-hour claims if the interrelationship is close.

TGI Fridays served with class action in N.Y. court

Hospitality giant Carlson Restaurants faces a class-action suit alleging numerous Fair Labor Standards Act violations at the TGI Fridays casual dining chain.

Federal wage-and-hour lawsuits hit record high in 2013-2014

An all-time high 8,126 Fair Labor Standards Act cases were filed between April 1, 2013, and March 31, 2014—a 5% increase over last year, and a 426% increase over 20 years.

Unwritten rules: Are your supervisors quietly encouraging off-the-clock work?


Many employers think that simply writing a policy prohibiting off-the-clock work and unapproved overtime will protect them from overtime claims by hourly employees who work beyond their shifts. But courts won’t be swayed by an employer’s “we told them not to work” assertion.

Labor Department to change FLSA's overtime exemptions?

According to Littler Mendelson employment lawyer Ilyse Schuman, word on the street in Washington is that the Labor Department will release a plan to overhaul the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime exemptions sometime “before November.”

San Antonio fast food franchisee hit with OT suit

A San Antonio area franchisee faces charges he failed to pay proper overtime to his employees. Wessam “Sammie” Aldeeb operate eight restaurants, including Subway, Great American Cookies and Marble Slab Creamery stores. A recently filed suit seeks class-action status for at least 125 current or former employees of Aldeeb’s franchises.

DOL provides new guidance on ACA-mandated lactation breaks

The ACA health care reform law amended the Fair Labor Standards Act to require employers to provide a place for nursing mothers to express breast milk. The law includes specific requirements the space must meet to comply.
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