Who’s the Boss? U.S. DOL Issues Final Rule on Independent Contractor StatusEmployers often ask, “Can this worker be an independent contractor?” The answer is often unclear due to the different tests for employee versus independent contractor status, which vary between federal circuit courts and from state to state. In the end, the answer typically depends on how much risk the employer is willing to take. In

‘Tis the Season — Year-End Reminder of 2020’s FLSA Salary Threshold Increase and What You May Need to Check NowRemember last January and the salary threshold change the Department of Labor rolled out for salaried exempt and highly compensated employees under the FLSA? As the end of the year approaches, you might need to revisit the DOL’s salary threshold increases that took effect January 1, 2020.  In January, we anticipated that this would be

New Reality? DOL Publishes Proposed Rule on Independent Contractor StatusWhether a worker is an employee covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) (and potentially entitled to overtime pay or benefits) or an independent contractor who is not covered has been the center of an ongoing legal battle for many years. Most recently, it has been a key issue for those in the growing

Sixth Circuit Scrubs Attempted Snub of Arbitration of Grubhub Paystub HubbubThere have been many examples of the tension between the “gig economy” and traditional labor laws. Most of the companies like Uber or Grubhub choose to classify their drivers as independent contractors instead of employees, which eliminates obligations like overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The Seventh Circuit this week dealt with such a

There Is More to This than Meets the Eye: Why an Under-the-Radar DOL Wage and Hour Bulletin Is Good News for EmployersThe U.S. Department of Labor issued a Field Assistance Bulletin on June 24, 2020, announcing that it will not routinely assess pre-litigation liquidated damages as part of the settlement process for claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Although this announcement has largely gone “under the radar,” it actually has historic significance. The bulletin is

Window Washers and Telegraph Operators Beware: DOL Eliminates Specific Retail and Non-Retail Examples Under Overtime Exemption RuleFor those of you craving a non-COVID-19 issue to chew upon, the Department of Labor opened the floodgates of debate by withdrawing the partial lists of establishments that could either be “recognized as retail” or “having no retail concept” under the FLSA’s overtime exemption for certain commissioned employees. Of course, we are being sarcastic (kind

Unpaid Interns and a Lunch Order Gone Bad: Jury Returns FLSA Retaliation Verdict Against Martina McBride’s Production CompanyA February 2020 jury verdict against county music star Martina McBride’s production company highlights – albeit indirectly – the perils of unpaid internship programs and the issues they can cause under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

The Facts

Martina McBride and her husband, John, own Blackbird Studios, which hired Richard Hanson as its operations

It’s What I Said Before: DOL’s Opinion Reversal Does Not Sway Arkansas Federal CourtWhen the Department of Labor (DOL) withdraws one of its previous opinion letters and issues a new interpretation, should a court change its ruling? No — not according to a federal judge in Arkansas.

DOL Opinion Letters

As background, the DOL issues opinion letters as a means to provide guidance for Fair Labor Standards Act

Keeping It Regular: DOL Issues Rule Clarifying Regular Pay RateThe Department of Labor recently issued a final rule about how to calculate an employee’s regular rate of pay for overtime purposes under the Fair Labor Standards Act. As everyone knows, under the FLSA you have to pay nonexempt employees overtime pay for any hours worked over 40 in a workweek. We also know that

The Relationship Talk: DOL Issues New Rules on Joint Employer StatusWhen do your business relationships make you a joint employer? Fortunately, the DOL recently published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking with changes to regulations regarding when two or more entities should be treated as “joint employers” under the FLSA. This will help answer the question of when you and the business partner share legal responsibility