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US Federal Labor Viewpoints – Week of July 26, 2021

From our Capital Thinking blog, our public policy colleague Stacy Swanson shares the latest federal employment law developments in in the legislative and executive branches during the week of July 26, 2021. *** This is a weekly post spotlighting labor topics in focus by the US legislative and executive branches during the previous week. In this issue, … Continue Reading

DOL Returns to the Practice of Seeking Liquidated Damages in Settlements in Lieu of Litigation, Rescinding Trump-Era Policy (US)

On April 9, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2021-2, which provides updated guidance to Wage and Hour Division (“WHD”) field staff regarding the practice of seeking liquidated damages in settlements in lieu of litigation. In so doing, the DOL rescinded a Trump-era policy aimed at reducing the imposition … Continue Reading

US Federal Labor Viewpoints – Week of March 29, 2021

From our Capital Thinking blog, our public policy colleague Stacy Swanson shares the latest federal employment law developments in in the legislative and executive branches during the week of March 29. *** This is a weekly post spotlighting labor topics in focus by the US legislative and executive branches during the previous week. In this issue, … Continue Reading

US Federal Labor Viewpoints – Week of March 22, 2021

From our Capital Thinking blog, our public policy colleague Stacy Swanson shares the latest federal employment law developments in in the legislative and executive branches during the week of March 22. *** This is a weekly post spotlighting labor topics in focus by the US legislative and executive branches during the previous week. In this issue, we … Continue Reading

Considerations for Employers Contemplating Incentive Programs to Encourage Employees to Receive the COVID-19 Vaccine (US)

As we discussed in a previous post, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) published guidance in December 2020 on employer mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies. That guidance explained that subject to a few exceptions, employers can require that employees receive the COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of returning to, or remaining in the workplace.  However, … Continue Reading

Biden’s DOL Withdraws Trump-Era Opinion Letters Regarding “Gig Economy” Workers and Sleeping Truck Drivers (US)

On February 19, 2021, the US Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) Wage and Hour Division (“WHD”) withdrew two Trump-era opinion letters.  The first, FLSA2019-6, discussed whether a service provider for a virtual marketplace company (“VMC”) is an independent contractor or an employee subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). The second, FLSA2019-10, involved the compensability … Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit Issues Timely Reminder Regarding the Importance of Employers Maintaining Accurate Wage Records (US)

A recent decision from a federal appeals court highlights the perils for employers associated with lax recordkeeping of employee work hours and wage information. It is well-established that every employer covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) is required to keep certain records for each covered non-exempt worker (i.e., those that are paid on an hourly … Continue Reading

Biden-Led Department Of Labor Pulls The Plug On Voluntary Wage And Hour Compliance Program (US)

In early 2018, we reported [see here and here] that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) had launched a pilot program to encourage employers to voluntarily report violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) minimum wage and overtime requirements. Employers who opted into the self-reporting pilot program, called the Payroll Audit Independent Determination (PAID) … Continue Reading

US Department of Labor Releases Final Rule Clarifying Standard for Independent Contractor Versus Employee Determination Under FLSA (US)

On January 6, 2021, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced a final rule clarifying the standard under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) for determining whether a worker is an independent contractor versus an employee. This distinction in critical under the FLSA, as employers must comply with its minimum wage and overtime requirements for employees, … Continue Reading

US Department of Labor Proposes New (and Relaxed) Independent Contractor Test (US)

On September 22, 2020, the US Department of Labor (DOL) issued proposed regulations aimed at codifying the classification of independent contractors under federal wage and hour law. If adopted—and the DOL has indicated it plans to fast-track the rulemaking process in order to issue final regulations by January 2021—the rule change would significantly relax the … Continue Reading

Department of Labor Issues Opinion Letter Clarifying Availability of Fluctuating Workweek Method of Calculating Overtime (US)

In the U.S., employees must be paid overtime compensation at a rate of one-and-one-half times their regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of forty (40) per workweek unless specifically exempted by law. For many employees, this means payment of a straight time hourly rate, and then payment of one-and-one-half times that … Continue Reading

FLSA Compliance Update: Employers Must Exercise Reasonable Diligence In Tracking Hours Worked By Remote Workers (US)  

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many employers have implemented teleworking and other remote work arrangements for their employees. Because these employees are not physically present in the workplace, there has been some uncertainty surrounding what obligations employers have to under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) to monitor and track hours worked by non-exempt, hourly … Continue Reading

DOL Update: COVID-19-Related Guidance and New Opinion Letters (US)

During the week of June 22, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) Wage and Hour Division (“WHD”) issued three Field Assistance Bulletins, each providing guidance to WHD field staff regarding three unique compliance issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, on June 25, 2020, the DOL released five fact-specific opinion letters discussing various … Continue Reading

Department of Labor Continues to Loosen Restrictions on Calculating Overtime (US)

In what Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia called a step in the US Department of Labor’s (DOL) goal of lessening “unnecessary regulatory burdens” on businesses, on May 20, 2020 the DOL released a final rule regarding the calculation of overtime for salaried non-exempt workers with fluctuating workweeks. The rule change may encourage payment of additional incentive … Continue Reading

Department of Labor Clarifies Retail and Service Establishment Exemption from Overtime (US)

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued a new rule regarding the interpretation of Section 7(i) of the Fair Labor Standards Act, an overtime exemption applicable to employees of certain retail and service establishments who are paid in part via commissions. The statute provides that an employer shall not be deemed to have violated … Continue Reading

Navigating Employee Return-to-Work Issues (US)

On Friday, May 15, 2020, Arizona’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected” order will expire. At that time, only a handful of states (Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, and New Jersey) will still be under broad stay-at-home restrictions, but even those remaining states will begin the phased reopening process between May 15 and 30. As employers begin … Continue Reading

Employer’s Guide to Return-to-Work Issues: COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (US)

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health emergency has changed life as we know it, including by severely disrupting business on a nationwide scale.  In some cases, employers have been forced to temporarily close their doors and cease operations, while others have had to make radical changes to the workplace in order to maintain operations. … Continue Reading

REMINDER: Webinar on April 13 and Summary of Families First Coronavirus Response Act Analysis (US)

Throughout this past week, we have provided a comprehensive analysis of the various provisions of the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), the first ever federal law requiring the payment of paid sick leave and paid family leave for various COVID-19-related reasons.  These daily updates include consideration of employer and employee coverage; qualifying reasons … Continue Reading

SPB IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS – The Families First Coronavirus Response Act – Part Five of a Five-Part Series (US)

Previous installments of our series analyzing in detail the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the regulations interpreting that law issued by the US Department of Labor addressed the following issues: Part One – employee eligibility and employer coverage; Part Two – the coronavirus-specific circumstances why eligible employees may take paid leave; Part Three … Continue Reading

SPB IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS: The Families First Coronavirus Response Act – Part Four of a Five-Part Series (US)

The first three installments of our five-part series analyzing the US Department of Labor regulations interpreting the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) examined eligibility and coverage issues.  Part One looked at which employees are eligible to take, and which employers are required to provide, emergency paid sick leave and public health emergency paid family … Continue Reading

SPB IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS:  The Families First Coronavirus Response Act – Part Three of a Five-Part Series (US)

The first two installments of our five-part in-depth analysis of the emergency paid sick leave and public health emergency paid family leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) – see here and here – analyzed the statutory language and regulations governing employer coverage, employee eligibility, the circumstances under which employees can request … Continue Reading

SPB IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS:  The Families First Coronavirus Response Act – Part Two of a Five-Part Series (US)

In the first part of our in-depth analysis of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and its accompanying regulations, we addressed employer coverage and employee eligibility issues under the new law.   In the second installment of this series, we turn to looking at the coronavirus-specific reasons upon which an employee can obtain FFCRA leave, … Continue Reading

SPB IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS:  The Families First Coronavirus Response Act – Part One of a Five-Part Series (US)

During the second half of March 2020, the US Congress passed three landmark pieces of legislation addressing the COVID-19 (a/k/a novel coronavirus) pandemic.  One of these was the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).  Under this law, employers of fewer than 500 employees are required to provide eligible employees with up to 80 hours of … Continue Reading

US Department of Labor Publishes Regulations Clarifying Various Aspects of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (US)

Some questions answered, many still remain On April 1, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released new regulations (29 CFR Part 826), attempting to clarify certain provisions in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).  As we previously reported here, under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act provision of the FFCRA, certain public employers and … Continue Reading
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