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Category Archives: Wage and Hour Law and Practice

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DOL Announces New Salary Level in Overtime Regulations

Posted in Wage and Hour Law and Practice

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has announced a new “salary level” to the so-called white collar overtime exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act. In short, the new rules take effect December 1, 2016, and will more than double the salary level for those employees classified as exempt from overtime pay from the current… Continue Reading

DOJ’s “Fairyland Damages” Calculation Rejected in Prevailing Wage Rate False Claims Act Case

Posted in Wage and Hour Law and Practice

In a February 4, 2016, decision, United States ex rel. Wall v. Circle C. Construction, LLC, the Sixth Circuit summarily rejected the government’s assertion that the measure of damages in a False Claims Act (FCA) suit involving a violation of prevailing wage rate requirements was the total amount paid for the work.  The Sixth Circuit’s… Continue Reading

On-demand Services Look Made to Order for Nashville

Posted in Wage and Hour Law and Practice

Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Michael Moschel was quoted in an article that outlines the pros and cons of the quickly growing on-demand economy, defined as the economic activity created by technology companies that fulfill consumer demand via the immediate provisioning of goods and services. As reported in the article, companies such as Uber, Lyft,… Continue Reading

New Ruling Impacts Home Care Worker Exemptions Under the FLSA

Posted in Wage and Hour Law and Practice

Home healthcare agencies and other third party employers of home care workers recently lost a key fight to prevent the Department of Labor (“DOL”) from eliminating Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) exemptions for employees who provide companionship services and live-in care within a home. On August 21, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals reversed… Continue Reading

Webinar Recap: How To Prepare for the “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” Proposed Rule and Accompanying Guidance

Posted in Wage and Hour Law and Practice

Yesterday my colleague Todd Overman and I presented an hour-long webinar discussing how to prepare for and navigate the “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” proposed rule and accompanying guidance. On May 28, 2015, the Obama Administration published the much anticipated proposed DOL guidance and accompanying Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) proposed rule implementing EO 13673, Fair… Continue Reading

Implications of Proposed Changes to DOL Overtime Rules

Posted in Wage and Hour Law and Practice

Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Stephanie Roth authored an article outlining the details of the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) proposed rules to increase the salary level threshold for those employees eligible for overtime pay. In addition, according to Stephanie, “the DOL has left open the possibility of changing the job duties test, which could… Continue Reading

The Growing Risks of Non-Compliance with Wage Rate Determinations

Posted in Wage and Hour Law and Practice

A Maryland-based construction company required to pay “prevailing wages” under a Federal government contract recently settled for $400,000 claims that it had violated the False Claims Act (“FCA”) by failing to properly supervise lower-level contractors in the payment of prevailing wages to their workers. The case serves as a reminder that government contractors who fail… Continue Reading

What Makes a Volunteer? Sixth Circuit Clarifies Test for Determining Employment Status of Volunteers

Posted in Wage and Hour Law and Practice

Volunteerism is good and should be encouraged by employers.  However, with its use come concerns that the persons engaged in the labor may not actually be considered volunteers by the courts.  This is particularly true in the Sixth Circuit, where the court of appeals has rejected the “threshold-remuneration test,” an employer-friendly test that looks primarily… Continue Reading

Massachusetts Becomes the Third State to Require Paid Sick Days

Posted in Wage and Hour Law and Practice

Voters in Massachusetts have approved a statewide law mandating employers with at least 11 employees provide those employees with up to 40 hours of paid sick time per year.  This mandate makes Massachusetts the third state requiring paid sick days, behind Connecticut and California.  Under the new law, effective July 1, 2015, Massachusetts employees can… Continue Reading

Top Ten Takeaways from the Employment Law Update

Posted in Employee Benefits, Retaliation/Whistleblower, Wage and Hour Law and Practice

On June 12 in Nashville and on June 26 in Memphis, attorneys from the Bass, Berry & Sims Labor and Employee Benefits Practice Groups presented to gatherings of corporate counsel, human resources professionals, state employees, and others about the current state of key issues in employment and benefits law.  Below is a list of the top “take-aways”… Continue Reading

DOL Publishes Rule to Raise Minimum Wage to $10.10 on Federal Contractors

Posted in Wage and Hour Law and Practice

The White House and the Department of Labor (DOL) released a proposed rule that would raise the minimum wage for employees under federal contracts from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour, a 39% increase.  The proposed rule implements Executive Order 13658, Establishing a Minimum Wage for Contractors, which was signed by President Obama on February 12, 2014. … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Overturns Sixth Circuit Ruling Exempting Certain Severance Payments from FICA

Posted in Employee Benefits, Wage and Hour Law and Practice

On March 25, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States (the “Supreme Court”) voted unanimously to overturn the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals (the “Sixth Circuit”) ruling in United States v. Quality Stores, Inc. (“Quality Stores“). As we outlined in a previous alert, in September 2012, the Sixth Circuit ruled in Quality Stores that a type of severance payment… Continue Reading

DOL steps up enforcement efforts on employers who misclassify workers as independent contractors

Posted in Wage and Hour Law and Practice

In 2011, the Department of Labor (DOL) initiated a crackdown on employers who misclassify employees as independent contractors. Employers are not required to withhold income taxes from an independent contractor’s pay, and they do not have to pay FICA (Social Security and Medicare) and FUTA (federal unemployment) taxes for the contractor. Employers also do not… Continue Reading

Successor Liability in “Asset Deal” Extends to Wage/Hour Liability

Posted in Wage and Hour Law and Practice

The Seventh Circuit recently held that a purchaser in an “asset deal” of a business in receivership was found to be a successor employer for the purposes of a $500,000 wage/hour settlement. The liability was imposed on the purchaser even though the contract formalizing the asset deal expressly excluded that liability. Teed v. Thomas &… Continue Reading

Which types of employees are considered “agents” of an employer for purposes of sharing in tip pools?

Posted in Wage and Hour Law and Practice

The question of which types of employees are considered agents of their employer for purposes of sharing in tip pools has come to the forefront in a number of cases filed against Starbucks. The Starbucks litigation is an excellent reminder to employers that issues concerning the payment of wages, in particular tip pooling, may involve… Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Recognizes Potential RICO Claim If Employees Wrongfully Denied Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Posted in Wage and Hour Law and Practice

Employees in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee who believe they have been wrongfully denied workers’ compensation benefits now have a new weapon – RICO. In Brown v. Cassens Transport Co., 6th Cir., No. 10-2334, 4/6/12, five employees sued their employer, a claims adjuster and a doctor alleging conspiracy to deny them workers’ compensation benefits. The Sixth… Continue Reading

Do Bouncers Provide Customer Service? The Challenges of Tip Pooling

Posted in Wage and Hour Law and Practice

On February 13, 2012, the federal district court for the Middle District of Tennessee granted conditional certification of a class action case under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) against Coyote Ugly saloons. As reported by Law360, the court conditionally certified several distinct classes, the most interesting of which is all employees who “worked as… Continue Reading

DOL Proposes New Rules Severely Limiting Home Care Worker Exemption

Posted in Wage and Hour Law and Practice

In a move that could significantly increase employer costs in the home care market, the Department of Labor has published proposed rules that will severely limit the current minimum wage and overtime exemptions for those who provide “companionship services.” The proposed rules basically do two things: The rules narrow the definition of “companionship services. The… Continue Reading