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Service Charge or Administrative Fee? A Distinction With a Difference, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Holds

Although it may have intended for a customer charge to be treated as an administrative overhead fee separate from gratuities paid to its employees, a country club’s reference to the amount as a “service charge” in some documents necessarily required that the amount retained be paid to the employees, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts...
September 8, 2021

Auto Technicians’ Pay Structure May Have Been Convoluted, But It Was Still a Bona Fide Commission Plan, Seventh Circuit Concludes

Although the employer’s pay system for its auto repair technicians was complicated and at times redundant, it nevertheless constituted a bona fide commissions compensation method subject to exemption from the overtime pay provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has held. Reed v. Brex, Inc., 2021 U.S. App....… Continue Reading
August 16, 2021

DOL Proposes Regulations Implementing $15 Per Hour Federal Contractor Minimum Wage Executive Order

On April 27, 2021, President Biden issued Executive Order 14026, raising to $15 per hour — with increases to be published annually — the minimum wage certain federal contractors must pay workers performing work “on or in connection with” a covered Federal contract or subcontract. The types of contracts impacted include those covered by the...… Continue Reading
July 21, 2021

In-flight Meal Periods for Security Officers Were Not Compensable, Fifth Circuit Holds

A security company did not violate the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) when, under its meal-period policy, it automatically deducted an hour of pay from its security officers on certain flights, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has held. Dean v. Akal Security, Inc., 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 18621 (5th Cir. June 22, 2021). The...… Continue Reading
July 8, 2021

Bonuses Prompted by Federal Tax Reform and Pay for Charitable Volunteer Time Were Properly Excluded From Employees’ Overtime Calculation, Fourth Circuit Holds

Affirming the dismissal of wage and hour claims against “big box” retailer Lowe’s, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed that company bonuses, provided to employees following 2018 revisions to federal tax law, were rightly excluded from the “regular rate” used to calculate overtime compensation under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The Fourth Circuit...… Continue Reading
June 22, 2021

Ninth Circuit Tosses $102 Million Award Against Walmart Alleging California Wage Statement and Meal Break Violations

In a significant victory for California employers, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently reversed a $102 million award against Walmart, in a suit alleging that the retailer violated the California Labor Code’s wage statement and meal-break provisions. Magadia v. Wal-Mart Associates, Inc., 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 16070 (9th Cir. May 28, 2021)....… Continue Reading
June 17, 2021

Alaska Supreme Court Cools Down Standard for Establishing State Law Wage & Hour Exemptions

Answering the first of two certified questions from an Alaska federal court and overturning nearly 30-year-old precedent, the Alaska Supreme Court has held that an employer need only establish an exemption under the Alaska Wage and Hour Act by a “preponderance of the evidence,” rather than “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Buntin v. 00073 Tmb Schlumberger...… Continue Reading
June 15, 2021

New Secretary of Labor Hints at Increased Minimum Salary for Overtime Exemptions

Will the DOL again seek to raise the minimum salary level for exempt “white collar” employees? In testimony before the House Education and Labor Committee on June 10, 2011, Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh stated that the Department of Labor (DOL) is reviewing a Final Rule issued during the Trump administration, in which the DOL...… Continue Reading
June 11, 2021

Agricultural Exemption Does Not Apply to Activities Entirely Away from the Farm

To paraphrase the lyrics of the classic nursery song, Old MacDonald had a farm and on that farm he had a cow – and a duck, horse, and chicken (e-i-e-i-o). And, of course, to tend to that livestock Old MacDonald had to have farm workers, and those farm workers had to be paid. But were...… Continue Reading
May 26, 2021

Rhode Island Joins List of States Enacting $15 Minimum Wage Law

On May 20, 2021, Governor Dan McKee signed an amendment to Rhode Island law that will see the Ocean State’s minimum wage increase to $15.00 per hour by 2025.  Beginning January 1, 2022, Rhode Island’s minimum wage will increase from its current $11.50 to $12.25. On January 1, 2023, it will increase to $13.00 and...… Continue Reading
May 21, 2021

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