Lawsuit says Handy cleans up at its contractors' expense

A lawsuit filed in California alleges that Handy, the sharing economy’s version of a cleaning service, is playing dirty with its workers. Like its brethren—Uber, Taskrabbits and others—the company uses independent contractors instead of employees.

Court spots the problem: Troubleshooting complex machinery isn't exempt work

With technological advances, just about every job involves using computers or computerized machinery. That doesn’t mean an employee whose job it is to repair such equipment is an exempt computer professional. Fixing things like printers and copiers—even the most technologically advanced ones—is hourly work, making the employee eligible for overtime.

Downsizing oil companies could see gusher of litigation

Falling oil prices have forced many energy companies to cut their workforces until the market recovers. Former employees on the receiving ends of those cuts could try to recover lost income through lawsuits.

'Fissured workplace' is focus of DOL misclassification initiative

Business models that lean heavily on independent contractors are tempting a DOL investigation. Might you be in a targeted industry?

DOL cites Silicon Valley firm that paid $1.21 per hour

San Jose-based Electronics for Imaging (EFI) will have to pay $40,156 to eight workers it brought in from India. A U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigation found the company required workers to put in as many as 122 hours per week and paid as little as the equivalent of $1.21 per hour in Indian rupees.

Supreme Court allows DOL rules reversal

On March 9, the Supreme Court ruled that the Department of Labor, which regulates the kind of employees who must receive overtime for working more than 40 hours per week, is free to flip-flop on its interpretation of the Fair Labor Standards Act without notice or an opportunity to comment on the proposed change.

Niederland contractors can't paper over misclassification

Specialty Painting & Wall Covering and M&S Enterprises, both in Nie­­der­­land, have paid 22 painters and drywall installers $108,783 in overtime back wages following a U.S. Labor Department Wage and Hour Divi­­sion investigation.

Still no word from DOL on release of new OT rules for supervisors

The long-whispered, unofficial goal had been a February 2015 release of these new overtime rules. February came and went, and Labor Department officials are tight-lipped about when the rules will be released and what’s taking so long.

DOL Wage and Hour Division unearths $4.5M in miner pay

Mining companies extracting gas from the Marcellus Shale formations in Pennsylvania and West Virginia violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by misclassifying employees and improperly paying overtime, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division.

State Supreme Court affirms $151M verdict against Walmart

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has affirmed a Philadelphia jury’s huge verdict against retail giant Walmart. In 2006, the jury concluded the company violated state and federal wage laws when it forced employees to work through unpaid breaks and perform other duties while off the clock.

Will FLSA soon require predictable schedules?

In a recent interview, U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division Administrator David Weil hinted that the department may be “looking very actively at” guaranteeing employees predictable schedules under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Bill would turn pro cheerleaders into employees

A bill before the General Assembly would require California’s professional sports teams to give cheerleaders full employment rights, including paying the minimum wage and overtime.

Federal judge strikes raises for home health workers

One of President Obama’s attempts to stimulate the economy has been nixed by a federal court.

Court: Mum can't be the word when it comes to confidentiality of FLSA settlements

A federal court has nixed the idea of a confidential Fair Labor Standards Act settlement. The court concluded that keeping violations secret goes against the spirit of the FLSA because it would allow employers to effectively hide violations from public scrutiny.

DOL's 2016 budget tips off Obama's priorities

The U.S. Department of Labor stands to gain far more than most federal agencies in the White House’s fiscal year 2016 budget proposal released Feb. 2. President Obama’s budget would increase DOL funding by almost 11% next year, compared to an average of 5.3% for other federal agencies.
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