Wage & Hour — Developments & Highlights


Mark contributes to the Wage & Hour — Developments & Highlights blog to provide the latest information and his observations on new developments in wage-hour law, such as class actions, exemption/misclassification and working time issues.

Recent Blog Posts

  • Oil Energy FLSA Exemption Collective Action Settles: The Right Move By The Employer  No industry is immune to FLSA collective actions and the energy industry is seeing a significant uptick in these actions. In this regard, a class of workers employed by an oil field services company has just agreed to a $2.1 million deal to settle a Fair Labor Standards Act collective action alleging that the company did not pay them proper overtime wages. The case is entitled Meals v. Keane Frac GP LLC et al., and was filed in federal court... More
  • Need for Individual Scrutiny Kills FLSA Collective Action – That’s the Cure for This Disease I have blogged on this topic many times but I never tire of it. What is the way to defeat a class action? The magic bullet? The answer? Too much individual scrutiny is needed! Another Judge has proven me right on this. A federal judge has denied a motion to certify a class of distributors who distributed products for a bakery with brands such as Wonder Bread and Nature’s Own. The drivers alleged that they were misclassified as independent contractors... More
  • Where Is The New OT Rule? Somewhere… The attorneys for the USDOL advised the federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals that the agency does intend to revise the currently pending changes to the overtime regulations.  The lawyers also requested that the Court approve of the agency’s right to use salary levels to determine exemption status.  The case is entitled Nevada et al v. USDOL and is being heard in the Fifth Circuit. The lawyers requested “that this Court not address the validity of the specific salary level set... More
  • Afghanistan-Based Contractors See FLSA Collective Action Dismissed on Jurisdictional Grounds I blogged about this off-the-beaten-path case a short time ago. Wow, whoever thought the courts would work this fast? A federal judge dismissed a proposed FLSA collective action against Fluor Corp. filed by contractors who alleged that the Company did not pay them overtime based upon a contract performed in Afghanistan. The Court held that the country’s labor laws were inapplicable to foreign citizens who did not have work permits. The case is entitled Allen et al. v. Fluor Corp.,... More
  • Another FLSA Class Action Alleging Misclassification Settles: What Else Is New? It is difficult to defend a class action based on exemption, which explains why many of these cases (as herein) settle. This is because the employer-defendant is (usually) going to be completely right, or totally wrong. Either the class of workers (especially if the exemption at issue is professional or administrative) will meet the regulatory tests or they will fall short. That is the reason these cases often settle, because the employer does not want to test its theory at... More
  • Is There, Or Will There Be, Erratic Enforcement of the FLSA Under Trump? The President has not yet nominated an Administrator for the DOL Wage and Hour Division and the new Secretary of Labor, Alexander Acosta, has not named a political adviser to work with the Wage and Hour Division’s careerists. Thus, without new policy guidance, DOL field investigators seem to be enforcing minimum wage and overtime laws by adhering to and following policies that existed before January 20, 2017. With that said, there are signs that some local DOL offices may be re-thinking... More
  • Secretary of Labor Rescinds Two Administrator Interpretations: Does it Make A Difference? The Obama DOL had issued two so-called “white papers” one on independent contractor status (Administrator Interpretation No 2015-1).and the other on joint employer status (Administrator Interpretation No. 2016-1). These documents outlined the agency’s position on these two crucial issues and not surprisingly, took a very pro-employee perspective. Well now, in the stroke of a pen (or two pens), those Interpretations have been completely rescinded. By US Department of Labor [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsThe Secretary of Labor, Alex Acosta, stated that... More
  • Preemption Defense to FLSA Collective Action Fails: No Need for Contractual Interpretation I always look for a preemption defense when I am defending a FLSA collective action, whenever there is a labor contract involved. What a magic bullet that is—get rid of the entire matter in one fell swoop (with maybe just a 12(b)(6) motion). But, and it is a big but, there must be something in the labor contract that is pertinent. If not, that tactic fails, as evidenced by a recent (split) Third Circuit opinion.  The Court refused to dismiss... More
  • American Corporation Seeks to Dismiss Afghan Overtime Claim By Contractors: What Is Going On? We usually think of FLSA and overtime cases arising in our country, but companies operating overseas have to deal with the laws of that country. In an interesting case that hearkens to the headlines of national security and international crisis, Fluor Corporation has requested that a federal judge dismiss a putative class action filed by contractors who allege that they were not paid overtime in violation of Afghanistan labor law. The company claims that the Afghan labor code does not... More
  • Law Firm Misclassifies Secretary As Exempt And Now Must Pay Overtime You know, law firms are not immune from FLSA issues merely because they are law firms and may be allegedly endowed with some superior knowledge of laws. A recent case illustrates this maxim.  The name partner of a Los Angeles firm has been charged with misclassifying his legal secretary as exempt.  She now has won a jury verdict of $80,000 in overtime; her former boss had claimed that she was properly classified as an executive employee. The case is entitled... More