The Department of Labor’s Final Rule on white collar exemptions takes effect on December 1, 2016. Are you ready? You can answer this question with three simple tests. An employee must pass all three tests to be eligible for exemption from overtime pay.
Recently, in Hernandez v. Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, LLC, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit held that where overtime is considered mandatory an employer may deduct missed shifts from an employee’s allotted intermittent leave allotment under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA), but that the employer must also include mandatory overtime hours when calculating an employee’s total FMLA-leave allotment. Failure to do so constitutes an FMLA interference claim.
Last year, the Department of Labor published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking signaling a drastic impending change to the salary threshold requirement for employers to classify certain jobs as exempt from overtime and minimum wage. Since that time, we have been working with clients on workforce analysis and planning, including budget forecasting, to determine the best and most cost-efficient way to adapt to the changes to come.
On March 23, 2016, the Department of Labor issues its new “persuader” rule which has been the matter of much controversy since 2011. The persuader rule is designed to implement Section 203(b) of the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959. A prior rule existed, but the Obama Department of Labor thought that it did not go far enough (translation: did not favor organized labor sufficiently – writer’s opinion).
As we previously reported, the minimum salary amount for an exempt employee since 2004 was $455/week or $23,660/annually. On July 6, 2015, the DOL announced its proposed rule which, in part, would mandate that employers have to pay an exempt employee a minimum salary of $970.00/week, or $50,440/annually.
Plaintiffs were unpaid interns on the Fox Searchlight distributed film Black Swan. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York found the Black Swan interns were employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act and New York Labor Law. The court applied a version of the U.S. Labor Department’s six factor test, which was derived from the 68 year-old Supreme Court decision Walling v. Portland Terminal Co., 330 U.S. 148 (1947), to determine whether the interns fell within an exception for unpaid trainees.
To be classified as an employee exempt from overtime, an employee must perform certain exempt duties and responsibilities, such as those customarily performed by an executive, professional or administrative employee. In addition to performing the requisite managerial duties, an employer is required to pay the individual a minimum guaranteed weekly salary. If the employee does not receive this minimum weekly salary, the employee is treated as an hourly employee, regardless of their duties, and must be paid overtime for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours during the workweek.
While ERISA has long regulated employer provided group health insurance plans, it had never in the past dictated which employees should be eligible to receive health insurance. When Congress enacted the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2013 (“ACA”), it required for the first time that an employer provide health insurance to all employees who work on average at least 30 hours a week. The failure to cover all eligible employees, as now defined by the ACA, would subject employers either to the increased expense for having to provide affordable health insurance to a greater percentage of employees than in the past or to the “employer mandate” financial penalties.
The Family Medical and Leave Act in part requires an employer to permit an eligible employee to take a leave of absence arising from the serious medical condition involving the employee’s spouse. When Congress enacted the FMLA in 1993, no state had recognized a same-sex marriage. Consequently, the definition of a spouse for FMLA purposes was uncomplicated and uncontroversial.
The United States Supreme Court recently issued its ruling in Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association, upholding a Department of Labor (“DOL”) interpretation regarding the status of mortgage loan officers as non-exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). At issue was whether the DOL could alter its position regarding whether mortgage loan officers qualify for the administrative exemption under the FLSA without adhering to the notice-and-comment rulemaking process set forth in the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”).