In my blog post last week, It’s Football (Unionizing) Season…, I tackled the topic of whether football players who receive athletic scholarships to play for a private college or university might be considered employees – and then have the right to unionize under the National Labor Relations Act. As I explained, the National Labor Relations Board seems to be moving the ball towards a finding that those who receive scholarships are thus being paid to provide sports services to the school, meaning that they are employees. But, as my partner Mark Swerdlin noted in a previous blog post , this approach means that non-scholarship players are penalized because they are not being paid and therefore cannot be employees. Unless, as he suggested (with tongue firmly in cheek), they sue for unpaid wages under the Fair Labor Standards Act… Continue Reading Wait – College Football Players Really Are Suing for Pay?
Opinion letters from the U.S. Department of Labor are pretty unusual, so I get really excited when they issue one. And typically, the letter addresses an issue of some significance for employers. So I was giddy (GIDDY, I say!) when I saw a new one had just dropped – until I actually read it. Three times, because I thought I was missing something. But really, it just affirms what I already thought about the Family and Medical Leave Act and holidays. At least it’s a good reminder of how to deal with holidays under the FMLA. Continue Reading (Not Terribly Useful) Guidance from the DOL on the FMLA and Holidays
Or, really, in anything other than money. That was the lesson learned by a Chick-Fil-A franchise recently, as the U.S. Department of Labor recently announced. Continue Reading No, You May Not Pay Your Workers In Chicken Sandwiches…
On February 22, 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in Helix Energy Solutions Group, Inc. v. Hewitt, clarifying that, in order to qualify for the highly compensated employee (HCE) exemption from the Fair Labor Standard Act’s overtime mandate, the employee must be paid on a salary basis, and the payment of a daily rate does not constitute a salary.Continue Reading Supreme Court Provides Clarification on the Highly Compensated Employee Exemption’s Salary Requirement
There have been a couple of interesting situations in the news recently involving employees who have been ordered by a court to repay wages to their employers. One involved a Canadian employee who submitted fraudulent timesheets. Another involves law firm associates who failed to meet their billable hours requirement. And a third involves police officers in a New York town who swiped time clocks for each other to falsely claim time worked. These cases provide some insights for employers – good and bad. Continue Reading Can You Force Employees to Repay Wages?
On February 9, 2023, the U.S. Department of Labor issued guidance on how to comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) as to teleworking employees. Although intended for DOL staff, the Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB) provides employers with insight into the DOL’s position on issues arising under these two laws, including: (1) compensation under the FLSA, (2) protections under the FLSA that provide reasonable break time for nursing employees, and (3) eligibility rules for teleworking employees under the FMLA.
As you may be aware, there is some contentious litigation ongoing between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf, a new and controversial golf league financed by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (i.e. the Saudi Arabian government) that aims to become a competitive alternative to the PGA Tour. If you’ve successfully avoided the barrage of news stories on the issues, I’ll summarize the main points for you here:
Continue Reading Wait, Is that Pro Golfer an Employee or Independent Contractor?
In our occasional series spotlighting outrageous workplace conduct, we have come across an incredible, albeit petty, means of payment: pennies. Rarely does the inconsequential piece of copper find itself in the headlines. But, one former employee likely saw enough pennies in one day to last him a lifetime.
Continue Reading Extraordinary Workplace Misconduct: Petty Pennies
[UPDATE – The DOL seems to have removed the fact sheet from its website – but we captured a printout. We also note that the fact sheet referenced the Vax-or-Test ETS as if it were still in existence; perhaps that’s why it was pulled. Be warned that the printout is NOT official and, according to the DOL, should NOT be relied upon! In other words, you won’t be able to cite to the guidance, but we believe the general FLSA principles will likely not change in any future guidance.]
For much of the past year or so, employers have struggled with the question of whether they must pay employees for the time spent getting vaccinated against or tested for COVID-19, particularly during off-duty hours. The U.S. Department of Labor has finally issued guidance on this issue under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Continue Reading The DOL (Finally!) Provides Guidance on Compensability of COVID Testing/Vaccination Time!
As many employers implement a COVID-19 vaccination-or-weekly-testing mandate (soon to be required of all employers with 100+ employees, as we discussed here), a recurring issue is whether the time that employees spend getting that weekly test must be paid under federal and state wage and hours laws. And the answer is a lawyerly, “Well, it depends.” (Of course).
Continue Reading Do Employers Have to Pay For COVID-19 Testing Time?