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

  • Working Time/Travel Time Case Thrown Out: No Integral Connection to Primary Duty I have defended many claims and lawsuits involving working time, especially travel time.  Employees are continually seeking innovative ways to convert their otherwise non-compensable home-to-work travel into compensable work hours.  These efforts often fail, as illustrated by a recent case where Chicago police officers sought pay for transporting and storing their guns and then retrieving them.  The Court found this activity was not sufficiently connected to or integral to their primary duties.  The case is entitled Bartlett et al. v.... More
  • New White Collar Exemption Salary Rises to $35,000 Per Year: Much Ado About Nothing? It has finally happened! The USDOL has announced that it is setting the new exempt salary threshold for the “white collar” exemptions at about $35,000, about $700 per week.  The exact salary is $35,368 annually.  This is far lower than the Obama-proposed $47,000 per annum, almost $900 per week.  The new salary level takes take effect on January 1, 2020. The acting Secretary of Labor noted that “for the first time in over 15 years, America’s workers will have an update... More
  • Cannabis Workers Allege Off-the-Clock Violations and Other Employer Misdeeds Employees of cannabis companies have the same rights as workers who are employed by any other entity.  A California cannabis company knowingly withheld wages, meal breaks and rest periods from its employees, according to a lawsuit filed by a former worker who accused the company and a separate marketing firm of violating state labor laws.  The case is entitled Fishenden v. Seaside Sales and Marketing LLC and was filed in the Superior Court of California. The California based employee sued under two entities, Medical... More
  • Plaintiff Attorney Fees in FLSA Cases: The Frustrating, Driving Force in These Cases I read a very interesting article in the Epstein Becker Wage & Hour Defense Blog, whose sentiments I wholeheartedly agree with.  It concerns the issue of attorney fees for plaintiff lawyers in FLSA/wage cases.  The blog post notes that often, these lawyers get big dollar fee awards, while the allegedly victimized people they represent get “pennies.” The posting notes, and I agree, that there are many, many plaintiff wage hour class (or single) action lawyers who believe in their clients and... More
  • NJ Employer Wins Independent Contractor Case, Beats ABC Test The New Jersey independent contractor test is one of the toughest for a putative employer to prevail upon.  So, when an employer does do that, it is a great day for the employer community and that is what has happened in the case of a law firm who fought the UI claim of its paralegal, lost before the agency and prevailed before the Appellate Division.  The case is entitled Law Office of Gerard C. Vince, LLC v. Board of Review... More
  • Third Circuit Examines FLSA ‘Willfulness’ Standard: ‘Reckless’ vs. ‘Egregious’ The issue of willfulness is very important in FLSA cases because such a finding extends the statute of limitations from two years to three. The standards utilized in making these decisions have been established but their application to particular situations often is difficult. A recent example of this tenet has just emerged in a case involving the calculation of employee wage rates. The case is titled Stone et al. v. Troy Construction LLC and issued from the Third Circuit Court... More
  • Prevailing Wage Class Action Dismissed for Failure to Allege “Public Work” Was Involved The area of prevailing wage law, construction wage-hour law, is a niche within a niche and a very complicated area of wage hour law.  I am proud to say I have defended more than one hundred employers in these cases, both the federal Davis Bacon Act and a number of state prevailing wage, but there are many vagaries in this law and unique pleading issues that lay in wait for unwary plaintiffs.  An example of this is a recent New... More
  • New Jersey Wage Theft Act Beefs Up Penalties on Employers—A Lot! The State of New Jersey has passed several laws in the wage-hour area that are definitely pro-employee, to say the least.  The latest effort on this front is something quite special, or onerous, depending on which side you are on.  The brand new, effective immediately, New Jersey State Wage Theft Act (WTA) geometrically adds to the existing penalty structure for employers by adding a liquidated damages provision and gives extra protections for employee retaliation claims.  The joint employer provisions have... More
  • New USDOL Secretary Will Be Big Booster of Business: Here Comes Deregulation It seems that with the resignation of Secretary Acosta there is going to be a decidedly more pro-business posture for the agency.  This is because Patrick Pizzella, who will take over, has let it be known that he will be “hitting the gas” according to Paul DeCamp. The business community sought (and expected) a great deal of deregulation emanating from the agency in the wake of the 2016 election.  That did not materialize so quickly.  The first nominee, Andy Puzder, withdrew... More
  • New Jersey Wage Deduction Class Action Revived by Appellate Division: More Independent Contractor Fallout When employers classify individuals as independent contractors, they are not obligated to provide them with certain benefits, as they would statutory employees.  Sometimes, if those individuals are found to not be independent contractors, those “failures” come back oftentimes to haunt the employers.  Another example of this phenomenon has happened in that a New Jersey appellate court has reversed a lower court that found that an employer properly deducted monies from truck driver compensation to pay for workers compensation insurance (as... More