Articles Posted in Exemptions

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The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) defines things like minimum wage and overtime in order to prevent employers from taking advantage of their workers. The federal minimum wage is currently set at $7.25 per hour and overtime is defined as any time spent working after eight hours a day or forty hours a week. Under the FLSA, all hourly, nonexempt employees are entitled to one and one-half times their normal hourly rate of pay for all the overtime they work. The FLSA protects all employees working in the U.S., regardless of their citizenship status.

The FLSA does allow for some exceptions to its overtime requirement, but it is very specific about the qualifications employees need to meet in order to be considered overtime exempt. The three main categories for overtime exemption are administrative, executive, and professional. In order to qualify for the exemption under the administrative category, an employee must perform primarily office work and provide administrative assistance directly to an executive. The executive category consists of anyone who spends the majority of her time at work managing other employees. Some of the requirements for this category include being able to discipline the employees she manages, and having significant say in the hiring and firing of those employees. For the professional category, an employee’s job must require them to have a certain set of skills or level of education in order to fulfill their responsibilities. For example, attorneys, physicians, and performers generally fit under the professional category. Continue reading

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Multiple plaintiffs can have the option to consolidate their claims into one lawsuit if their claims are sufficiently similar. In the case of employee class action lawsuits, this usually requires the plaintiffs to be able to prove that the alleged violations were the result of standard business practices and that they were systematic throughout the company.

Once plaintiffs have been able to prove they qualify for class status, it usually isn’t too hard to combine the lawsuit with other lawsuits against the same defendant with similar claims, if there are any out there. The ability to combine the claims of multiple plaintiffs into one lawsuit benefits the plaintiffs who might not otherwise have an opportunity to bring their claims to court, especially if their claims are small. It also benefits the court because they get to deal with an issue once and be done with it, rather than getting inundated with many lawsuits all dealing with the same issue.

In the case of Cadete Enterprises Inc., a Dunkin’ Donuts franchisee, a wage and hour lawsuit filed by two employees is asking to be combined with another lawsuit filed against the company with similar claims.

The first lawsuit was filed by Gassan Marzuq and Lisa Chantre and alleges Cadete illegally classified its managers as exempt from overtime. Chantre died three days after she and Marzuq filed their amended complaint in 2012, but her estate is continuing to pursue the legal dispute in her interests. Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), overtime is defined as any time spent working after eight hours a day or forty hours a week. All hourly employees working in the U.S. are entitled to one and one-half times their normal hourly rate for all overtime worked. Continue reading

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It can be hard for workers to try to file a grievance against their employer for a number of reasons. Aside from the fear of retaliation from their employer, workers don’t usually have the same leverage their employers do. It gets worse if the worker’s claim is too small to justify the costs of filing a lawsuit, even if the alleged damages are significant for the employee.

Employees who share similar grievances with their coworkers have the option to come together and file all their grievances together in one lawsuit. They can do this as either a class action (in which all eligible class members are automatically included in the class unless they opt out) or a collective action (in which eligible class members have to opt in if they want to join the collective action).

Courts will sometimes conditionally certify a collective action. This allows eligible members to opt in to the collective action so the court has a chance to see if the cases of the members are truly similar enough to justify proceeding with the lawsuit as a collective action. In order to determine whether to conditionally certify a collective action, a judge can look at the claims of the lead plaintiffs and the similarity of their claims. Continue reading

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American legislators try to write laws to be as clear-cut and loophole free as possible, but it’s not always easy. In addition to the various federal laws governing everyone in the country, each state and city has their own laws governing the citizens within their borders. All federal and local laws need to be considered when conducting operations in the United States.

A class of drivers who filed a wage and hour lawsuit against 3PD Inc. (now known as XPO Logistics) allege the company illegally misclassified them as independent contractors. According to 3PD, the drivers were contracted, and not employed, by 3PD and because of this the drivers were held responsible for all the costs associated with making deliveries (the costs of the trucks, gas, and maintenance on the trucks) and were charged for any goods that were damaged in transit. Continue reading

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The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provides multiple protections to workers in order to prevent their employers from taking advantage of them. Some of these protections include setting the federal minimum wage, defining overtime as any time spent working after eight hours a day or forty hours a week, and requiring employers to pay all their hourly workers one and one-half times their normal hourly rate for all overtime worked.

The FLSA does allow certain employees to be held exempt from the premium overtime compensation, but it is very specific about the types of employees and job responsibilities that can be considered exempt from overtime compensation.

Among the types of employees the FLSA allows to be exempted from overtime are salespeople, partsmen, and mechanics, but only as long as their main responsibilities involve selling automobiles or providing service on automobiles. Continue reading

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The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law that was put in place to prevent employers from taking advantage of their workers. The Act does this by providing a federal minimum wage, defining overtime, and requiring employers to pay all their hourly workers one and one-half times their normal hourly rate for all overtime worked. There are some exceptions to the overtime requirement, but the FLSA is very specific about the types of employees that can work overtime without extra pay. In addition to the FLSA, each state and city has its own labor laws to protect the employees working in their area.

Employers sometimes try to avoid some of the requirements laid out by federal and local labor law by requiring employees to sign away certain rights. The rights employers have been known to require workers to sign away include the right to trial in the event of a dispute between the employer and the worker and, recently, the right to overtime compensation. Continue reading

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The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) protects all employees working throughout the United States. It guarantees things like a minimum wage (which is currently set at $7.25 per hour) access to social security, and premium compensation for all overtime worked. The FLSA also defines overtime as all overtime spent working after eight hours a day or forty hours a week.

The FLSA does allow certain workers to be held exempt from these protections, but it is very specific about the qualifications workers must meet in order to be held exempt. The Act provides employees with these protections because employers generally have much more leverage than their workers, especially workers earning minimum wage. The Act therefore withholds these protections only from employees that have sufficient leverage to negotiate their own terms of work. These employees include salaried administrative assistants, executive employees, professional employees, and independent contractors. Continue reading

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There are a variety of ways employers can pay their workers. Hourly wages and salaries are the most common, but employers can also pay their workers daily rates or on a per project basis. But no matter how they choose to compensate their workers, employers are still required to pay their workers no less than the relevant minimum hourly wage. In order to make sure they’re abiding by all relevant labor laws, including minimum wage and overtime, employers must maintain accurate records of all the time worked by their employees, wages earned, and wages paid.

According to a recent class action wage and hour lawsuit in California, Elderly LLC, an elderly and assisted living facility in Union City, paid its employees a flat daily rate, but allegedly required them to work so many hours that the wages they were paid, divided by the number of hours they spent working, amounted to less than the legally mandated minimum wage. The wage and hour lawsuit further alleges employees were regularly made to work more than forty hours a week, but that they were never paid the proper overtime compensation for that extra time.

The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets a national minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, but the California minimum wage is currently $9 per hour. Cities also have their own minimum wage laws, and the highest minimum wage takes precedence over the others. Employers conducting business in the U.S. need to be sure they’re abiding by all relevant labor laws: federal, state, and city. Continue reading

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One effective method for businesses to cut costs is by using independent contractors, rather than employees. Companies only have to pay independent contractors for the work they do, rather than paying them a salary or an hourly rate for a certain number of hours. Companies also don’t have to worry about helping independent contractors pay their taxes, their health insurance, or Social Security. Independent contractors also cover all their own business expenses and provide their own work-related materials.

Because independent contractors are shouldering these burdens themselves, and they’re exempt from the protections the law extends to employees, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is very specific about the requirements a worker needs to meet in order to be classified as an independent contractor. Workers must be able to make their own hours, control the environment they work in, and wear what they want while working. Continue reading

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The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), exists to ensure employees are not made to work long hours for unfairly low wages. In order to do this, the FLSA provides a federal minimum wage, and defines overtime as any time spent working after eight hours a day or forty hours a week. The Act requires employers to pay all their workers one and one-half times their normal hourly rate of pay for all overtime worked. Some types of workers are exempt from this overtime requirement, but the FLSA is very specific about which workers can qualify for the exemption.

To start with, the employee must earn a salary of at least $23,600 per year and fit into one of three categories: administrative, executive, and professional. In order to qualify for the administrative category, an employee must perform primarily office work and provide administrative assistance directly to an executive. An employee in the executive category must spend the majority of her time managing other employees, be able to discipline those employees, and have direct say in the hiring and firing of those employees. The professional category covers all workers who require a particular set of skills or level of education to perform their job, such as doctors and performers. Continue reading