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DOL: Highly compensated employee explained

A recent opinion letter interprets the Fair Labor Standards Act’s highly compensated employee exemption. The letter spells out exactly what an employer must show to claim the exemption, which currently only applies to workers earning a salary of at least $100,000 per year who perform nonmanual or office work.

Summer brings new employment laws

It’s summer and that means long breaks for state and local legislatures. Before going on vacation, however, many of those legislatures pushed through new laws that go into effect during the dog days of summer. Here are a few.

Fresno plumbing company settles in DOL overtime case

Following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, M&L Plumbing has agreed to pay $113,351 in back pay. The DOL found that the company owed 39 employees the money for unpaid overtime.

Presidential hopefuls picket with advocates for $15 minimum wage

The Fight for $15 advocacy group that is pushing to raise the minimum wage nationwide picked up some notable support June 15.

Conversations among co-workers can be enough to certify class-action lawsuit

When an employee claims she wasn’t paid properly under the Fair Labor Standards Act, she can ask the court to represent all other similarly situated workers in a potentially costly class-action suit. It doesn’t take much more than a few casual conversations with co-workers for a single plaintiff to move a class-action lawsuit forward.

HCE exemption hard for worker to challenge

Employees who earn at least $100,000 per year to perform office work and at least one duty required under the Fair Labor Standards Act’s administrative, executive or professional classifications may be considered Highly Compensated Employees who are exempt from the law’s overtime requirements. Few workers who challenge an HCE classification win.

When exempt ‘managers’ do all work, expect lawsuits

When retail managers you classify as exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime provisions end up doing the bulk of the work in the store, you may have a misclassification problem.

$22,000: Cost of failing to provide space to pump milk

The Affordable Care Act amended the Fair Labor Standards Act to require employers to provide nursing mothers a clean, private place (that is not a restroom) to express milk. Allegiance Behavioral Health Center, located in Plainview, Texas, apparently didn’t understand that.

Beware wage-and-hour lawsuits that might suddenly turn into class actions

Here’s another reason to make sure you are carefully following the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime rules: Just one disgruntled and allegedly underpaid employee can file a class-action lawsuit and get the court to authorize contacting all other similarly situated workers to join in as plaintiffs.

Before signing settlement, consider other filings

Sometimes, an employee files several discrimination complaints about incidents that are allegedly related. If you’re thinking about settling one complaint, be aware that other, related claims may remain outstanding.