Category Archives: Wage and Overtime Pay

New Guidance on Interns v. Employees

The test for determining whether unpaid interns at a for-profit employer are employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act, and thus entitled to compensation for services provided, has been the subject of considerable litigation over the past few years. Employers now have recent guidance from two federal appellate courts to use in analyzing their intern programs. In Glatt v. Fox Searchlight Pictures, Inc., Nos. 13‐4478; 13‐4481 (2d Cir. Jan. 25, 2016), the Second Circuit (which covers district courts in Connecticut, New York and Vermont) explained that, in determining whether an individual is an intern or employee, the salient question is …

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Workplace Now: The “Localization” of Employment Law – What you Don’t Know Can Hurt

It is no secret these days that many workforces, particularly over the last five years, are now subject to numerous state and municipal laws that seek to shape and regulate numerous areas of the workplace (many of which are often conflicting) .  Given the gridlock that has been in place for almost a decade in Congress, state legislatures and cities have accelerated their oversight of employers and have imposed their own laws. In fact, there are literally hundreds of examples of how the scope of local regulation has changed, but perhaps the most breath-taking took place this year in the …

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$47,476 Exempt Salary Level Struck Down

Yesterday, a Texas Federal Judge invalidated the Obama era’s overtime Final Rule which attempted to raise the salary level threshold required to qualify for the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) “white collar” exemptions to $47,476 per year.  The last year has been a rollercoaster ride for employers working to comply with the proposed doubling of the salary level and to manage labor costs.  For now, the salary basis for “white collar” exemption will remain $455 per week — or $23,660 per year. “The department has exceeded its authority and gone too far with the final rule,” Judge Mazzant said. “Because …

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California Equal Pay a Reality In 2016

California employers, prepare yourselves (again). The State has added a larger arrow to the plaintiff’s quiver – more equal pay. Decades before the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was implemented, California had a comparable equal pay statute in place. Enacted in 1949, the California Equal Pay Act (“Old Act”) provided equal pay protections to the opposite sex. But, the Old Act did not age well, its flaws uncovered. Critics bemoaned the Old Act’s limitations, including a difficult burden of proof, ambiguous affirmative defense, and the lack of an anti-retaliation provision found in other employment statutes. The time had come for …

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Employee Misclassification in the Entertainment Industry

Employee misclassification is one of the leading labor abuses in the country. In fact, in recent years, both the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Department of Labor have launched a misclassification initiative to combat this pervasive issue. Misclassification runs rampant in the entertainment industry, where terms like “low pay/no pay”, “copy, credit, meals”, and “deferred payment” get thrown around freely in order to meet budget. With the ease of access to affordable high quality recording equipment and editing software, the fast-growing independent market has only added to the I.R.S. and U.S. Department of Labor’s frustrations in this regard. The …

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Gimme a W!  Gimme an A!  Gimme a G!  Gimme an E!  What’s that Spell?!? . .

NFL cheerleaders are one of the more recent groups to Bring It On! in the form of wage and hour litigation for the alleged failure of their teams to pay them a minimum wage. In fact, to date, cheerleaders from five NFL teams have filed lawsuits against their respective teams alleging that they were not paid a legal wage for the time spent rehearsing, performing, and appearing at events. These spirit spreaders allege that they received little – and, in some cases, no – compensation for their heavy pompon lifting. The litigating squads include the Raiderettes, the Ben-Gals, the Tampa …

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Men at Work: California Public Works Projects and Prevailing Wage Laws

California’s prevailing wage law, set forth in the California Labor Code, provides that each worker employed by contractors or subcontractors on a public works project must be paid not less than the general prevailing wage rate for work of a similar character in the locality in which the work is performed. Prevailing wages are significantly higher than the minimum wage. California legislature has recently passed laws that expand the scope of available remedies and time periods for enforcement as well as access to certain information in certified payroll records. Previously, only the Labor Commissioner could obtain liquidated damages equal to …

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