Articles Posted in Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

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Employers are allowed to pay their tipped workers a lower minimum wage than workers who do not earn tips, but paying them tips without any wages is not legal under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938. Even when tipped employees are paid the lower minimum wage, the tips they earn, plus their wages, must add up to at least the standard minimum wage to which all other workers are entitled. If their earnings fall below the standard minimum wage, the employer is required to make up the difference.

According to a wage and hour lawsuit filed against Café Misono Inc. by the Department of Labor (DOL), the restaurant allegedly refused to pay at least one waiter anything at all, requiring that employee to live off their tips alone. Continue reading

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Considering how much time and resources Google devotes to collecting data from its users, it seems odd for the tech giant to claim a request for data on how they compensate their employees is overly burdensome.

Google had taken on millions of dollars in federal contract work before it was selected in September 2015 for a mandatory equal opportunity compliance evaluation in regards to the company’s government contracts. Because there are federal laws in place that require employers to pay all their workers equally and fairly (regardless of sex, race, ethnicity, religion, etc.), the Department of Labor (DOL) maintains an Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, which ensures the companies performing contract work for the government are abiding by the federal compensation laws.

Google has refused to provide the relevant data pertaining to how it pays its employees, claiming the vast amount of information requested would require too much time and money for them to compile all the data. Google claims the information the DOL is requesting comprises more than 1.3 million data points and hundreds of thousands of pages of information. It also alleges much of the data the DOL is requesting is not relevant to how Google compensates its employees and to provide it would be to compromise the confidentiality of their workers. Continue reading

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Misclassifying employees as exempt from overtime requirements is bad enough on its own, but the damage done can be compounded when the inaccurate status prevents employees from bringing their grievances against their employer to a court of law.

That’s what happens when employees are forced to sign arbitration agreements, which have become increasingly common throughout all American industries. Having started out as a way for businesses to resolve disputes between each other, companies have increasingly been expanding their interpretation of the Federal Arbitration Act to include relationships between businesses and individuals, such as their employees. Most employment contracts now contain arbitration clauses that require workers to use arbitration to settle all disputes with their employer.

There are several problems with this, with the biggest one probably being the fact that arbitration agreements prevent a lot of cases from ever getting a hearing. Because arbitration is not equipped to handle class actions or collective actions, individuals with small claims against their employer don’t have the opportunity to combine their claims in order to justify the costs of filing the complaint. Without this protection, many small claims go unresolved. Continue reading

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The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was enacted in 1938, in the middle of the greatest economic depression this country has ever seen, in order to protect the rights of workers who might otherwise be vulnerable to exploitation by their employers. In addition to defining overtime and requiring employers to pay all their hourly workers one and one-half times their normal hourly rate for all the overtime they spend working, the FLSA also allowed certain employees to be held exempt from overtime compensation if they earned a salary of $23,660 per year.

In addition to the salary requirement, the FLSA classifies employees as overtime exempt based on particular job responsibilities. This mandate divides exempt employees into three categories: administrative, covering employees who perform primarily office work and provide assistance directly to an executive; executives, meaning those who spend the majority of their time at work managing other employees; and professionals, whose jobs require them to have a certain set of skills or level of education in order to perform their jobs.

The current salary limit of $23,660 per year was substantial at the time it was enacted, but now it’s barely enough to make a living on and makes up just half the average American household yearly income. In order to take this inflation into account, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), has proposed a new rule that would double the salary requirement for overtime exemption to $47,476 per year. Continue reading

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According to four lead plaintiffs in a newly-certified collective action wage and hour lawsuit against PNC Bank NA, the bank allegedly promised mortgage loan officers a salary of $24,000 per year – an amount they claim was supposed to be based on a 40-hour work week. But according to the lawsuit, more often than not, the mortgage loan officers worked well over forty hours a week, and yet they were allegedly never paid for the additional hours they worked.

According to the overtime lawsuit, many current and former employees who worked as mortgage loan officers for PNC allegedly worked well over 40 hours a week and often took work home in order to get caught up. Despite these additional hours, the collective action lawsuit alleges PNC deliberately failed to properly keep track of all the hours worked by its mortgage loan officers, and as a result, failed to properly compensate them for all the time they spent working.

The wage and hour lawsuit further alleges that PNC made its branch managers complicit in the illegal denial of wages and failure to record all the hours the mortgage loan officers worked. According to the complaint, PNC would allegedly deduct wages from the managers’ pay based on the amount of overtime that was paid to mortgage loan officers who worked under them. Continue reading

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When a large company with multiple franchises is faced with a lawsuit, sometimes there’s a question of whether the company itself is at fault, or the franchisee. Many franchisees choose that career path because they want to be their own boss, but different companies maintain various levels of control over their franchises. The situation is usually beneficial to both parties, but when there’s a lawsuit over business practices, sometimes there’s a question of whether the parent company should be held responsible, or just the franchise owner.

In the case of DoubleTree, the massive hotel chain recently tried to argue it should not be included as a defendant in a recent class action overtime lawsuit involving one of its hotels in Tarrytown, New York.

According to the complaint, hourly, nonexempt employees working in the hotel’s housekeeping and food and beverage departments were allegedly told it was hotel policy to not pay workers more than 40 hours a week, no matter how many hours they actually spent working. If the allegations turn out to be true, such a policy violations both New York labor law and the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Continue reading

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Judges have many things to consider when deciding whether to approve a proposed settlement agreement. The most obvious considerations are whether both parties agree to the agreement and whether the agreement is fair to both sides. Part of that includes making sure both parties can uphold their part of the agreement.

In a recent class action wage and hour lawsuit against, a laundry app that allows users to request laundry to be picked up, cleaned, and dropped off back at their homes, the judge is concerned won’t be able to pay the class of plaintiffs anything.

The lawsuit alleges’s delivery drivers (which it referred to as “ninjas”) were improperly classified as independent contractors. As a result, they were allegedly denied the proper minimum wage, overtime compensation, and regular meal and rest breaks, which are required by California labor law.

In addition to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which protects workers by doing things like providing a federal minimum wage, defining overtime, and requiring a higher compensation for overtime hours, there are also state and local laws that employers need to be aware of and abide by. Continue reading

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The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Department of Labor (DOL) exist to protect employers from taking advantage of their workers. Because employers are in a position of power over their workers, the temptation to use that leverage for their own benefit can sometimes be too much to resist.

The FLSA requires employers to pay their workers at least the federal minimum wage, which is currently set at $7.25 per hour. The Act also defines overtime as any time spent working after eight hours a day or forty hours a week and requires employers to pay their workers one and one-half times their normal hourly rate for all overtime worked.

In addition to the federal labor law, each state and city has their own laws governing employers in their districts so anyone conducting business in the United States needs to be aware of all the relevant labor laws. That can be confusing enough for employers to deal with, so it’s no surprise that many employees aren’t aware of all their rights under the law. Even when workers are aware that their rights are being violated, they’re often too afraid of facing retaliation from their employer to speak up. That’s where the Department of Labor comes in.

The DOL recently filed a wage and hour lawsuit against Luis Salas for allegedly failing to pay the workers in his Mexican restaurants minimum wages and overtime. Salas is the owner and manager of Acapulco Mexican Restaurant Inc. and Tampico LLC, both of which are located in West Virginia, as well as Tampico Mexican Restaurant Inc., which is located in Ohio. Continue reading

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Not all employers try to cheat their workers out of their wages, but those who do frequently get away with it for a time because their workers aren’t familiar with the terms of the law. But when the employees are paralegals and/or have served on the jury of a previous wage and hour lawsuit, it can change the game.

Caridad D. worked as a paralegal for Sanchelima & Associates PA, an intellectual property firm in South Florida, for several years before her employment there was terminated in November 2013. In that time she allegedly worked many hours of overtime for which she was never paid.

After deciding to file claims for her unpaid overtime under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Daniels called Michael Feiler, an attorney who had represented workers in another FLSA lawsuit for which Conrad had been on the jury.

Florida law forbids attorneys from contacting any of the jurors in their cases unless the court grants them approval. Feiler said he was aware of the law and was very careful not to discuss the previous case with his new client. 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