BLOGS: Fair Labor Standards Act Law

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Thursday, June 30, 2011, 1:19 PM

Tip Credit Regulation Changes Suit

Suit filed to challenge DOL’s tip credit changes without notice of proposed rulemaking.

Restaurant stakeholders believe the Department of Labor’s tip credit regulation changes should have been prominently featured on the menu rather than being substituted in the kitchen by the chef. Watch this space to see what happens.

Click to read the complaint (pdf).

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Saturday, June 25, 2011, 1:15 PM

Wrongful Termination Claims May Lead to Viable Wage and Hour Claims Says California Labor Law Attorney

Here’s what one plaintiffs’ group has to say about the potential for FLSA issues in dealing with alleged wrongful terminations.

See the following article from Lawyers and Settlements.

Click to read.

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Friday, June 10, 2011, 3:36 PM

US Labor Department sues Texas state agency for failing to pay 800 workers for overtime hours

The U.S. Department of Labor today filed a lawsuit against the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services' Child Protective Services Division in Austin for failing to pay 800 current and former investigators and case workers overtime compensation as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act. The suit seeks back wages of more than $1 million, plus liquidated damages.

Click here to continue reading...(US DOL)

Judge Certifies Class In Mountaire FLSA Suit

A North Carolina federal judge on Wednesday, June 8, 2011 certified a class of Mountaire Farms Inc. chicken processing plant employees in a doffing-and-donning suit, allowing workers to proceed with claims regarding unpaid wages and paycheck deductions for replacement protective gear.

Click here to continue reading (including case information and a variety of links at Law360.com)

Click here to read our previous post.

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011, 7:02 PM

Much Ado About Donning and Doffing

Jump a third of the way down the attached Fourth Circuit opinion to get past the caption; there are three named plaintiffs in Perez v. Mountaire Farms, Inc, but all of those who joined the invitation to participate in the case - more than 500 - are listed in painstaking detail. The decision begins at the bottom of page 21, and a concurring opinion by Judge Wilkinson starts 30 pages later. Happily, the substance of the ruling is easy to summarize: (1) Time spent by poultry processors in putting on protective gear at the beginning of the workday and taking it off at the end - "donning and doffing" - is compensable "work" which has to be paid at the regular hourly rate and, if those activities cause the workweek to exceed 40 hours, count toward overtime. (2) When the employees break for meals, their time spent in doffing and donning isn't paid time. (3) The employer didn't act willfully, so the two-year statute of limitations applies rather than the three year period. (4) The employer acted in good faith and was not liable for the double-back-pay remedy of "liquidated damages." (For a preview of these last two holdings, see our May 27, 2011 posting, "Where There's a Will, Is It Willful?")

The litigation in Perez began in January, 2006. Don't be surprised if there's either a motion for rehearing by the full court, en banc, or a petition for certiorari filed with the Supreme Court. The stakes are large; the District Judge struck an intermediate figure between Mountaire's expert's calculated 10.2 minutes per day and the plaintiffs' "slight overestimation" of almost 21 minutes, deciding the daily time in question to be 17 minutes. When the case returns for the computation of back pay, 17 minutes a day for about 500 work days over two years work days comes to 8500 minutes - over 90 hours - apiece. If the overtime exposure is added, the numbers could get even larger. And that, dear reader, is why these cases get filed, and why they're vigorously defended.

See Perez v. Mountaire Farms, Inc.

Fair Labor Standards Act Headlines and Publications

Endo Pharmaceuticals Sued by Sales Reps (Reuters)

SOL Fair Labor Standards:
[PDF] Schaefer-Larose v. Eli Lilly and Co., amicus, in support of plaintiff-appellant
Description: Whether the district court erred by concluding that Schaefer was an exempt outside salesperson despite the fact that she did not "make sales" as required by the Department's "outside sales" regulations. (US DOL)

Employers Struggle to Control Wage-and-Hour-Litigation (BusinessInsurance.com)

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