Category Archives: Fair Labor Standards Act

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Two Metro Detroit Employers Settle with DOL Over FLSA Violations

Two Metro-Detroit employers have recently agreed to settle wage and hour violations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) involving overtime compensation and misclassification issues. Specifically, Belle Tire agreed to pay over $340,000.00 for violations under the FLSA. Payments will be made to employees in approximately hundred stores in Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio. According to … Continue Reading

Untangling Confusion about FLSA Exemptions for Highly Compensated Employees

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued an interesting Fair Labor Standards Act decision. The case focused on who is and is not exempt from overtime requirements. And the result – as the court noted – is likely to be counter-intuitive to many employers. Case Background – FLSA and Highly Compensated Employees The case, … Continue Reading

Did Meeting the FLSA Administrative Exemption Get Easier?

Michigan employers recently received a favorable Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) ruling. This decision also provides guidance when it comes to evaluating whether particular categories of employees may be administratively exempt from the FLSA’s overtime requirements. Procedural Background Leading up to the FLSA Ruling The decision arose out of the case Lutz v. Huntington Bancshares, Inc., … Continue Reading

New Guidance On “Joint Employment Status” Likely Means More Liability for Companies

President Ronald Reagan famously noted that the “most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.” Well, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced on 1/20/2015 that they were here to help clarify when a joint employment relationship exist under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the … Continue Reading

Reversal Against Employer in Overtime Pay Lawsuit Highlights Dangers of Misclassifying Employees as Independent Contractors

At a time when companies are increasingly using “independent contractors” rather than W-2 employees, the risks and liabilities for misclassification have never been higher. And it just got harder for Michigan and other Midwest employers who are accused of improperly classifying their workforce after a 3/26/2015 ruling from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Specifically, … Continue Reading

Saving Employment Contract Limitation Periods from Being Unenforceable in Employment Litigation

We must use time as a tool, not as a couch. President John F. Kennedy Smart employers make it a point to use time to their advantage by limiting the statutes of limitations for filing employment-related lawsuits. Statute of limitations require a plaintiff/employee to file a lawsuit within a specified time frame. But like any … Continue Reading

Extending the Fair Labor Standards Act’s Overtime & Minimum Wage Coverage to Home Health Care Workers

Michigan home health care companies and the home health care industry are facing significant changes under the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) proposed rule change to the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) 1975 “companionship exemption.”    Proposed FLSA Revision  On December 27, 2011 the DOL published a notice of proposed rulemaking to revise the companionship … Continue Reading

Does An Employer Violate the FLSA’s Anti-retaliation Provision for Firing Employee For Facebook Posting About Payment Practices?

On June 24, 2011, a Florida federal district court dismissed a claim that an employer violated the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) anti-retaliation provision by allegedly firing an employee who expressed her disagreement over the employer’s payment practices on Facebook. The Plaintiff, Lilli Morse, filed suit against her former employer, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., under … Continue Reading

Employers Cannot Ignore Costly Risks of Mis-classifying Independent Contractors

With increased scrutiny and The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires-with two general exceptions-employees to receive no less than the current minimum wage not less than 1 1/2 times the regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week. Independent contractors are one of the exemptions under the FLSA. But gaining the benefits and cost savings of using independent contractors is not without risk. This is because merely identifying an individual as an independent contractor and even further memorializing this relationship in a written agreement does not preclude a judge from later "second-guessing" an employer's decision. Instead, determining whether an independent contractor or actual employment relationship exists under the FLSA depends upon applying what is referred to as an "economic reality test." The focus under this test is on: Further compounding the difficulties employers face incorrectly identifying an employee versus an independent contractor is the fact that no one factor is determinative in this test. Thus, it is not uncommon for both the employer and the individual to operate under the assumption that an independent contract relationship exists, only to have a judge later down the road second-guess both the employer and the employee and determine the actual employment relationship existed between the two. Employers simply cannot afford to make costly decision-making pitfalls when it comes to misclassifying individuals as independent contractors rather than regular W-2 employees. It is therefore critical to revisit your independent contract relationships. In light of this test, determining whether an individual is an employee or independent contractor will rarely be made with certainty. Especially because ... But good decisions can be made by carefully reviewing all independent contract relationships with experienced legal counsel. Otherwise, employers should expect to face certain liabilities that include backpay, liquidated damages, civil damages, attorney fees, or any combination of these remedies.… Continue Reading