Calculating OT: What counts as a 'workweek'?

Employment lawsuits often hinge on a definition: What is an “employee”? What is “work”? And, in this case, what is a “workweek”?

California Supreme Court makes independent contractor status tougher for motor carriers

If your company is classified as a motor carrier, don’t expect the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 (FAAAA) to protect you from misclassification claims. That’s the lesson learned by one motor carrier after a recent Cali­­for­­nia Supreme Court decision.

Must we pay employees for unauthorized overtime when they check their messages?

Q. We frequently have employees turn in time sheets with unapproved overtime—time they spend checking emails and voice mails. Do we have to pay em­­­­ployees for this time even though we have a workplace policy that prohibits unapproved overtime work?

LinkedIn to pay nearly $6M for unpaid overtime violations

The business-oriented social media site LinkedIn has agreed to pay $3,346,195 in overtime back wages and $2,509,646 in damages to 359 former and current employees.

Court rules volunteer not entitled to FLSA protection

A young man who volunteered at a school in hopes of building his résumé is not an employee as defined in the Fair Labor Standards Act according to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals.

Four Dallas restaurants settle DOL wage disputes

Workers at four Dallas-area restaurants will receive more than $188,000 following a U.S. Depart­­ment of Labor Wage and Hour Divi­­sion (WHD) investigation. The restaurants—Yes Buffet in Grand Prairie, Royal Buf­­fet in Rowlett and Crown Buffet and Win Chi­­nese Buffet in Dallas—underpaid 61 employees.

Workweek isn't based on consecutive days


Under the FLSA, employees are entitled to overtime for hours worked over 40 in any workweek. However, the law doesn’t specify how a workweek is determined...

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.
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