Deal Me In: Appellate Court Rules That Casino Trainees May Be Employees

Eric Paltell
Eric Paltell
04/29/2016
The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has ruled that casino trainees may be employees entitled to compensation under the FLSA when they are attending a pre-hire "training school" at a local community college.  Harbourt v. PPE Casino Resorts Md. , LLC.  The Court reversed a lower court decision dismissing the trainees' complaint, ruling that the facts plead in the complaint were sufficient to state a claim that the time spent in...
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Tyson Foods Loses FLSA Class Action, But May Be Able to Carve Up Damages Award

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
04/06/2016
Class-action lawsuits are typically viewed as high-risk, high-reward endeavors.  In its recent decision in Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo, the Supreme Court pointed out both sides of this double-edged sword in the context of a unpaid overtime claim under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  577 U.S. ___ (2016). Federal Rule 23 permits parties to bring lawsuits as a class of people, rather than as individuals, if certain requirements are met. ...
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Check Casher Fails to Cash in on Overtime and Discrimination Claims

This past week, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that a pregnant employee who worked unauthorized overtime and was terminated two months after announcing her pregnancy could not prevail on claims brought under federal employment laws.   Fairchild v. All American Check Cashing, Inc., No. 15-60190 (1/27/16). Because the plaintiff could not show that her employer had knowledge of the overtime work, or that her employer’s...
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More On Joint Employer Status From The Department Of Labor

Earlier this week, the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the Department of Labor issued an Administrator's Interpretation No. 2016-01 (AI) on joint employment under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Migrant Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA).  The guidance reconfirms existing WHD policy, which identifies common scenarios in which two or more employers jointly employ an employee and are thus jointly liable for compliance....
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No FLSA Overtime Exemption for GEICO Fraud Investigators

Garrett Wozniak
Garrett Wozniak
12/30/2015
Santa did not bring GEICO the gift it was hoping for this Christmas. On December 23, the Fourth Circuit issued its decision in Calderon v. GEICO Gen. Ins. Co., No. 14-2111, deciding that the insurance company’s fraud investigators perform non-exempt work under the Fair Labor Standards Act and, therefore, are entitled to overtime pay. The FLSA requires that employers pay overtime for each hour an employee works beyond 40 in a week. An employee...
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Unpaid Student Nurses Get Clearance To Proceed With Wage Claims

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
09/20/2015
Unpaid interns have long been a questionable group from a wage and hour risk perspective.  In Schumann v. Collier Anesthesia, P.A., No. 14-13169 (11th Cir. 2015), the Eleventh Circuit joined the Second and Sixth Circuits in setting aside the "antiquated" Department of Labor six-factor internship analysis in favor of a more stringent "primary beneficiary" test. In Schumann, 25 unpaid student registered nurse anesthetists participated in a clinical...
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Time To Get To Take A Meal Break May Be Compensable

Darrell VanDeusen
Darrell VanDeusen
09/18/2015
That headline makes no sense, right?  Well, according to the Fifth Circuit, it’s possible that employees who are required to take meal breaks away from their posts (or desk or cubicle, I suppose), may be entitled to pay for the time they spend “in transit” to the break site.  Naylor v. Securiguard, Inc., 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 16421 (5th Cir. Sept. 15, 2015). Security guards at the Mississippi U.S. Naval Air Station Meridian are required to...
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Second Circuit Adopts New Intern Test

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
07/10/2015
The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently established a new test to determine whether an individual should be classified as an intern, and thus not subject to the FLSA and local wage and hour law. Rejecting the test employed by the Department of Labor (which filed an amicus brief with the appellate court), the Second Circuit’s new test is less rigid and seems, at least at first blush, to give more weight to the educational...
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Obama Administration Seeks to More Than Double Salary Requirement for Overtime Exemption

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
07/02/2015
On June 30, 2015, the Obama Administration unveiled a long-anticipated proposed rule increasing the threshold amount required to be paid to certain salaried workers before they are exempt from receiving overtime. The current rule is that any salaried worker who earns below $455 a week or $23,660 per year (i.e., less than the poverty line for a family of four) must receive overtime. The proposed rule would more than double that to $50,440 (i.e. close...
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DOL Announces Revised Overtime Regulations

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
05/06/2015
Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez reported on the Department’s blog yesterday that he has submitted a proposed revised rule to the Office of Management and Budget to address what President Obama believes are  deficiencies in federal laws governing overtime pay. Working off the assumption that overtime pay rules have eroded over the years and that a high number of salaried workers who should be getting overtime are not eligible for overtime pay, the...
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