Archives: Department of Labor

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US District Courts Start Applying Kisor v. Wilkie; Is Auer Deference Now a “Paper Tiger”?

Our colleague Brent Owen at the FrESH Law Blog (which covers perspectives on Environmental, Safety, and Health law) recently provided an update to his prior post addressing the US Supreme Court’s then-pending decision in Kisor v. Wilkie.  In that case, decided in late June 2019, the Court addressed the Auer standard of deference that is applied by courts to administrative agencies’ interpretations … Continue Reading

DOL’s September Opinion Letters Address CBA and FMLA Conflicts and Retail and Service Overtime Exemption (US)

The United States Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) Wage and Hour Division issued two opinion letters on September 10, 2019, addressing certain aspects of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) and Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). DOL opinion letters are not binding law, but provide guidance into how the DOL interprets the laws that … Continue Reading

DOL Offers New Wage and Hour Compliance Advice (US)

On July 1, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) Wage and Hour Division issued a trio of fact-specific opinion letters offering employers guidance on various pay practices, specifically relating to calculating overtime pay as part of nondiscretionary bonuses, exemptions for paralegals, and rounding practices for calculating hours worked.… Continue Reading

NLRB General Counsel Advice Memorandum Is “Uber” Favorable For Gig Economy Companies Utilizing Independent Contractors (US)

In a recently-released Advice Memorandum dated April 16, 2019, the National Labor Relations Board’s (“NLRB”) Office of the General Counsel (“GC”) determined that drivers utilizing Uber Technologies’ smartphone application-based rideshare platform are independent contractors, not employees, under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”).  In arriving at this conclusion, the GC utilized the independent contractor test … Continue Reading

U.S. Department of Labor Says “Gig Economy” Workers Are Independent Contractors, Not Employees (US)

On Monday, April 29, 2019, the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) Wage and Hour Division issued an opinion letter in response to an inquiry from an anonymous “virtual marketplace company” (“VMC”) concerning whether individuals who provide services through the VMC (“service providers”) are employees or are independent contractors for purposes of federal wage and … Continue Reading

More DOL Letters Needed For Clarity On Enforcement Strategy (US)

Expanding on their previous post on the subject, on April 3, 2019, Law360 published the following article authored by Squire Patton Boggs labor and employment attorneys Laura Lawless Robertson and Melissa Legault. The U.S. Department of Labor recently issued a trio of opinion letters offering employers guidance in implementing the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Fair Labor … Continue Reading

Department of Labor Proposes Update To Rules Governing Calculation Of Overtime Pay (US)

On March 28, 2019, the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking announcing proposed updates to the rules that govern how employers calculate overtime payments under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).  As a reminder, the FLSA requires employers to pay additional compensation to non-exempt employees for work that exceeds … Continue Reading

DOL Opinion Letter Clarifies Employer Responsibilities Regarding FMLA Leave Designation (US)

On March 14, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”), Wage and Hour Division, released an opinion letter, FMLA2019-1-A, stating that employers cannot delay the designation of FMLA-qualifying leave or designate more than 12 weeks of leave (or 26 weeks of military caregiver leave) as FMLA leave.… Continue Reading

Déjà Vu All Over Again: U.S. Department of Labor Previews New(-ish) FLSA Overtime Exemption Requirements (Again)

For years – spanning two Presidential administrations – employers have been awaiting long-anticipated updates to the overtime exemption regulations to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  Since 2004, to be exempt from the FLSA’s overtime compensation requirements under the so-called “white collar” exemptions (e.g., executive, administrative, professional employees), employees must be paid on a salary … Continue Reading

Department of Labor Says Employers Are Not Required to Pay Tipped Employees the Full Minimum Wage for Non-Tipped Activities (US)

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), employers are required to pay non-exempt employees a minimum hourly wage of $7.25.  However, employers with “tipped employees” are able to pay such employees a cash wage of $2.13 per hour and take a “tip credit” toward their minimum wage obligation to make up the difference between the … Continue Reading

US Supreme Court to Reconsider Key Agency Deference Standard

Our colleague Brent Owen at the FrESH Law Blog (which covers perspectives on Environmental, Safety, and Health law) authored the post below addressing the US Supreme Court’s upcoming decision in Kisor v. Wilkie, which will address the Auer standard of deference that is applied by the courts to administrative agencies’ interpretations of their regulations.  Although Kisor involves the Department of … Continue Reading

Eyes and Ears on the FLSA – U.S. Department of Labor Issues New Opinion Letters and Schedules Public Listening Sessions (US)

On August 28, 2018, the Wage and Hour Division of the United States Department of Labor (“WHD”) issued four new opinion letters interpreting various aspects of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).  In addition, the WHD has announced plans to analyze and consider changes to the FLSA’s white collar overtime exemption regulations applicable to … Continue Reading

U.S. Department of Labor Forms New Interagency Compliance Office

This week, U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta announced that the Department of Labor (DOL), in collaboration with other federal employment agencies, was creating an Office of Compliance Initiatives (OCI). The DOL, through its various divisions, oversees compliance with and enforces the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Occupational Safety and … Continue Reading

U.S. Department of Labor Expands Association Health Plans

On Tuesday, June 18, 2018, The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) released its long-anticipated final rule on association health plans, allowing small businesses to band together by geography or industry to create health plans as if they were a single large employer. Association health plans will not be subject to the Affordable Care Act’s essential … Continue Reading

US DOL’s Voluntary Wage Underpayment Reporting Program – PAID – Now Underway

As we blogged earlier this year, in March 2018, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) announced a new program, referred to as PAID (or, Payroll Audit Independent Determination), under which employers may voluntarily apply for DOL assistance in resolving potential claims for wage underpayment under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  As previously … Continue Reading

U.S. Department of Labor Announces New Pilot Employer Self-Reporting Program To Address Overtime and Minimum Wage Violations (US)

On March 6, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced a new, nationwide pilot program which it claims will facilitate quick and efficient resolutions of Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) minimum wage and overtime violations by allowing employers to promptly pay back wages to employees and at the same time avoid time consuming litigation … Continue Reading

Ready Or Not, Here They Come … the U.S. Department of Labor Provides Notice of Future Audits (US)

On February 1, 2018, the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”), Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) issued 1,000 Corporate Scheduling Announcement Letters (“CSAL”) to US federal contractor employers, indicating that the letter recipients have been selected for audit of their compliance with federal Affirmative Action regulations.  CSAL recipients were selected through the Federal … Continue Reading

State of the Union Address Provides Hints of Trump Administration Priorities for U.S. Employers

In his first State of the Union Address, President Trump made the case for his first year in office as one of extraordinary legislative and regulatory accomplishments as part of his Administration’s efforts to build a “Safe, Strong, and Proud America.” In fact, 2017 was not a year of major legislative accomplishments, with the exception … Continue Reading

U.S. Department of Labor Reinstates Previously Rescinded Wage and Hour Opinion Letters (US)

On January 5, 2018, the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) reissued 17 advisory Opinion Letters that were published during the final months of former President George W. Bush’s administration, but were subsequently rescinded by the Obama administration.  Opinion Letters do not establish new law, but instead are vehicles through … Continue Reading

U.S. Department of Labor Abandons Strict, Six-Factor Intern Test In Favor Of Flexible “Primary Beneficiary” Test (US)

On Friday, January 5, 2018, the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued a statement that it will no longer follow its six-factor test in determining whether an individual is a non-employee intern (rather than an employee) under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), and instead will apply a broader analysis commonly referred to as … Continue Reading

DOL Delays “Final Rule” for ERISA Disability Benefits

On November 29, 2017, The Department of Labor delayed through April 1, 2018, the applicability of a Final Rule amending the claims procedure requirements applicable to ERISA-covered employee benefit plans that provide disability benefits. The purpose of the Final Rule was to add procedural protections and safeguards similar to those applicable to group health plans … Continue Reading

Third Circuit Refuses to Give Progressive a (Rest) Break on Compensable Flex Time Policy

On October 13, 2017, the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled in a precedential decision that employers are obligated by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to pay their employees for breaks of 20 minutes or less, even if they are logged off their computers and free from any work-related duties. The … Continue Reading
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