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Overtime Labor Laws

Federal overtime laws, designed to help end the exempt vs. non-exempt debate, have made things worse. To non-exempt and exempt employees, labor laws continue to confuse.

Business Management Daily can help you comply with federal overtime laws. Learn when you have to pay overtime, and when you don’t.

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Employees who believe they haven’t been properly paid for the time they spend getting into and out of protective gear are engaging lawyers and filing class-action lawsuits.

Employers are now free to set the percentage of employee tips that can be placed in a tip pool. In years past, several court decisions conflicted with the U.S. Department of Labor’s position restricting the amount of tips an employer could require to be pooled. The ruling comes as part of a new regulation clarifying the tip-pooling issue and establishing notice requirements for employers that use a tip credit for tipped employees.

The FLSA can be a trap for employers that don’t properly classify their workers. In fact, getting classification wrong can lead to class-action lawsuits and large back-pay awards. And to confuse things even more, if the employer acted “willfully,” employees get those double awards going back three years. Now the 5th Circuit Court of Ap­peals has at least made it a little harder for employees to collect those damages for three years.
Q. I heard something about a new wage-and-hour smartphone app that the Department of Labor has announced. What does it mean for our company?
Find common FLSA violations you probably don't know you're making, plus how to prepare for an audit at your organization.

Courts are becoming more reluctant to authorize massive class-action lawsuits. Example: A federal court has ruled that assistant restaurant managers who believe they were misclassified must bring individual lawsuits. They can’t proceed as a class. The practical impact: Most likely, lower damages.

The fact that a worker is in this coun­try illegally does not mean he can’t file a Fair Labor Standards Act overtime lawsuit. What’s more, that case can turn into a class-action suit, representing all other similarly situated illegal workers.
In the past year, the U.S. Department of Labor has renewed its focus on combating employee misclassification, and there has been a recent significant increase in the number of wage-and-hour lawsuits. In many of these cases, workers are challenging their designation as exempt employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
As work becomes more technologically driven, employees are seeing their job responsibilities change. Be aware that technological advancements in a job can also change an em­­ployee’s status under the Fair Labor Standards Act from an exempt to a nonexempt worker—or vice versa.
The Pennsylvania Superior Court has upheld a $188 million verdict against Walmart stores and Sam’s Club warehouse stores in a case involving 187,000 current and former employees. A jury had concluded that’s what the retailer owed employees for rest breaks that should have been paid and for off-the-clock work.
Some hourly employees have begun to argue that if they begin the day with a few work emails, they should be paid for the time they spend commuting to work. Fortunately, a 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals panel has nixed that argument. Had the case gone the other way, employers could have faced huge bills for paid commuting time.
Integral Devel­opment Solutions LLC, a Plano cable TV installation company, must pay $270,696 in back over­time to 114 workers it incorrectly classified as independent contractors instead of employees.
The U.S. Department of Transportation regulates interstate truckers’ hours under the Motor Carrier Act, not the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). And loaders, who usually work in just one state, also fall outside the FLSA if the work involves the safe transport of cargo they load in interstate commerce. Recent case: Arnold Garza and several […]
New Jersey is one of two states in the country where motorists may not pump their own gas. Now the DOL has launched an investigation into whether those full-service pump jockeys are receiving their full pay.
Government entities that employ fire­fighters face thorny Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) problems. The law requires overtime pay for fire­fighters who work more than 204 hours in a 27-day period. But that can get complicated when a local agency assigns its firefighters to battle wildfires for the state.
Lately, California employers have faced a flood of class-action lawsuits claiming they misclassified employees. Now that tide might turn, thanks to a ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
A worker who was fired after admitting to his employer that he filed Form SS-8 with the IRS to determine his status as an independent contractor or employee can continue his lawsuit for unpaid overtime, a federal trial court has ruled.
A new customer demands delivery on a weekend. A crush of work means shifts will have to keep running at unusual hours. Either way, you're staring down the possibility that you'll have to pay overtime. Can you legally avoid OT by altering workers' regular schedules so no one works more than 40 hours in a workweek?

Many employees spend time at home before or after their workday checking email. For nonexempt employees, that work could count as paid time if it amounts to a “substantial” amount of time. But now some hourly employees have begun to raise a related issue: If they start the day with a few work emails, shouldn’t they be paid for the time they spend commuting to work?

Mexican food is great, but is it art? A cook sued his former em­­ployer, a Mexican restaurant, for un­­paid overtime. The owners put forth a creative defense: that the cook was exempt from the FLSA overtime requirements because he was a “creative professional.”
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