DOL Proposes New Rules on Regular Rate Calculations

Eric Paltell
Eric Paltell
03/28/2019
As anyone who has ever tried to properly calculate overtime can attest, the question of what compensation should properly be included in an employee's regular rate of pay is a vexing one.  On March 28, 2019, the United States Department of Labor proposed new rules that may add some clarity. The "regular rate" of pay is the base number that employers must multiply by 1.5 to determine how much overtime compensation is owed to an employee for hours...
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Meal Periods On Plane Are Not Compensable Time

Clifford Geiger
Clifford Geiger
03/14/2019
Ed Alonso worked for Akal Security, Incorporated (“Akal”) as an Aviation Security Officer (“ASO”). ASO’s supervise people being deported from the United States during domestic travel between holding facilities and international travel to the deportees’ home countries.  Once deportees are transported to their home countries, ASO's take a return flight to the United States. Akal’s policy provided for a one-hour unpaid meal period on...
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Two Important Wage-Related Updates

This has been an action-packed week on the wage and hour frontier.  Two important decisions at the federal level are expected to significantly impact most employers going forward. Revised Overtime Rule First, on Thursday evening, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced its long-awaited proposed rule to update the salary exemption threshold under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) from its 2004 levels.  All employees who are paid a salary falling...
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Virginia General Assembly Considering Bills to Allow Employees to Sue for Unpaid Wages

Eric Paltell
Eric Paltell
01/29/2019
Unlike many states, Virginia does not provide a statutory right for employees to sue their employer for unpaid wages.  At present, an employee is limited to filing a complaint with the state Department of Labor & Industry or filing suit for breach of contract. However, two bills introduced by Delegates from both sides of the aisle may soon change that. House Bills 1687 and 2524 would both amend Virginia Code Section 40.1-29 to allow employees...
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Department of Labor Rescinds 80/20 Tip Rule

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
12/07/2018
Employers in the restaurant industry are probably familiar with the tip credit, which, in general terms, allows an employer to claim a “credit” between what it pays tipped employees and the minimum wage.  The tips that such employees earn, and form the basis for the “credit,” are thought to make up for this gap. However, problems arise when tipped employees perform side work that is related, but not part of, the tipped work.  For example,...
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Age and Wage Issues Among Many Resolved On Election Day

As votes in yesterday’s elections continue to be tallied, there were several developments of interest to employers and to labor and employment practitioners alike. Age: The ADEA Applies To Public Sector Employers Of All Sizes First, yesterday morning, the Supreme Court announced its first decision of the 2018-19 term.  In a unanimous (8-0) ruling, the Court held in Mount Lemmon Fire District v. Guido that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act...
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D.C. Creates New Training And Reporting Obligations For Employers With Tipped Employees

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
11/02/2018
You may recall that earlier this year, voters in the District of Columbia passed an initiative (Initiative 77) that would have increased the minimum wage for tipped employees (who predominantly work in the restaurant, hotel, and retail service industries) incrementally up to $15.00 an hour by 2025. Recently, however, the D.C. Council changed course by passing the Tipped Wage Workers Fairness Amendment Act of 2018 (the "Act").  Most directly, the...
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Expanded Construction Contractor Wage Liability Takes Effect October 1, 2018

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
09/10/2018
Beginning on October 1, 2018, construction contractors doing business in Maryland may be held liable if their subcontractors fail to pay their workers.  To say that this expanded liability is significant would be an understatement. First, a bit of background.  The Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law permits an employee who has not been paid in accordance with his or her employer’s regular pay practices to sue the employer for the wages that...
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Failure to Mediate Bars Claim for Unpaid Wages

Eric Paltell
Eric Paltell
09/07/2018
The Supreme Court of Virginia has affirmed the dismissal of a suit for unpaid wages because of the plaintiff's failure to seek mediation before filing suit.   In Primov v. Serco, Inc., the Court upheld the Circuit Court of Fairfax County's dismissal of a  complaint with prejudice upon sustaining a plea in bar for failure to comply with a contractual condition precedent before filing suit. In Primov, the plaintiff alleged that he had an employment...
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DOL’s Six Latest Opinion Letters Offer Useful Guidance To Employers

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
08/30/2018
After going into hibernation during the Obama Administration, opinion letters have reemerged as part of the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division’s (WHD) efforts to guide employers seeking valuable input about legal compliance and best practices.  As the DOL itself explains, these letters are “official, written opinion[s] by WHD on how a particular law applies in specific circumstances presented by the person or entity requesting the letter.” The...
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