LIEB BLOG

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Showing posts with label flsa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label flsa. Show all posts

Monday, April 29, 2024

New Overtime Time and a Half Final Rule under the Fair Labor Standards Act

Ready for a big jump in being entitled to overtime pay, which is 1.5 times pay?


The Department of Labor has set new effective earnings thresholds to be entitled to overtime pay per 29 CFR 541.  


Starting on January 1, 2025, we are moving the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) from an entitlement to overtime pay for those making under $35,586 to those making under $58,656 per year ($1,128 per week). Note that this threshold does not apply to employees who are "bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity . . . or in the capacity of [an] outside salesman," which terms are defined at 29 CFR 541.


These numbers are particularly important because a worker who is not paid properly can recover 2X back wages (liquidated damages) on unpaid overtime from the prior 2 years. 




Friday, October 14, 2022

New Independent Contractor Standard Proposed by Department of Labor for FLSA

If you are interested in wage and hour claims, or better yet if you are a business owner or manager, you are going to want to read this. 


On October 13, 2022, the Department of Labor opened the comment period, which runs through November 28, 2022, for it's revised analysis to determine if an individual is an employee or an independent contractor for a wage and hour claim (i.e., misclassification claim). As a reminder, independent contractors are also known as self-employed workers and freelancers, and are considered to be in business for themselves and therefore, not entitled to minimum wages and overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). 


However, if an employer gets this wrong, by considering an employee an independent contractor, tht employer can be subject to penalty, called liquidated damages, and more. It's a catastrophic mistake that really needs to be avoided at all costs. 


The Proposed Rulemaking is available here in full.


Comments can be made electronically at Federal eRulemaking Portal at https://www.regulations.gov.


In summary, the Proposed Rulemaking is attempting to reassert the Economic Reality Test, where "[t]he ultimate inquiry is whether, as a matter of economic reality, the worker is either economically dependent on the employer for work (and is thus an employee) or is in business for themself (and is thus an independent contractor)." In analyzing the test, the following, non-exclusive facts are generally examined, including: "the opportunity for profit or loss, investment, permanency, the degree of control by the employer over the worker, whether the work is an integral part of the employer's business, and skill and initiative." Under the Proposed Rulemaking, the Department of Labor will examine the factors in the Economic Reality Test by returned to a totality-of-the-circumstances analysis rather than focusing on core factors. No longer will two factors be considered most probative and carry greater weight. Now, all factors matter and should be analyzed when determining whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee who is subject to rights under the FLSA. 




Wednesday, January 06, 2021

Are Your Staff Employees or Independent Contractors? A New Regulation Answers The Question

During the last two weeks of his Presidency, Trump's Department of Labor just revised the test for whether an individual is an independent contractor or employee under the Fair Labor Standards Act. 


This is significant because employees are entitled to minimum wage and overtime whereas independent contractors are not. 


If an employer misclassifies a staff member as an independent contractor when such staff member should be classified an employee, it can result in a devastating blow to the employer who will be exposed to statutory penalties, back pay, attorneys' fees and more. 


Now, Trump's government is using the "economic reality" test to determine employee status. 


According to the government, "the ultimate inquiry is whether, as a matter of economic reality, the worker is dependent on a particular individual, business, or organization for work (and is thus and employee) or is in business for him- or herself (and is thus an an independent contractor)." 


Under this test, the Department of Labor or a Court hearing the case will look to five distinct factors to answer the test. However, two of those factors now have more probative value in answering the question than the rest. These two key factors are:

  1. The nature and degree of the worker's control over the work; and
  2. The worker's opportunity for profit or loss. 

The other factors, of less importance, are:
  1. The amount of skill required for the work;
  2. The degree of permanence of the working relationship between the individual and the potential employer; and 
  3. Whether the work is a part of an integrated unit of production.
Regardless, employers better take note of this change and analyze their staff's true work to ascertain if they are classified properly. If this is too much, you better hire a consultant to do the job NOW.
 

Here's a question

While the government argued in support of this new test by pointing to the need for clarity for business, is this the time to tax companies with new rules in the middle of a pandemic where small businesses are closing every day? 

More so, with a change in the Presidency less than two weeks away, will Biden just change this back next month? 

This new regulation isn't effective until March 8, 2021, so Biden could theoretically undo it before it even takes off. 

Should he? 



Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Wage & Hour Litigation is Coming from Remote Workers

The US Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division recently issued "guidance regarding employers’ obligation under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA or Act) to track the number of hours of compensable work performed by employees who are teleworking or otherwise working remotely away from any worksite or premises controlled by their employers" that is a must read by employers / HR professionals. 

We addressed this issue on the Lieb Cast on 8/2/2020's segment 3 at the 9 minute mark well before the guidance was ever issued as this advice was a no brainer for a quality employment attorney like Mordy Yankovich

We advise you now that Fair Labor Standards Act lawsuits are coming. 

Are you prepared? 

To get prepared, you need to immediately establish "a reasonable process for an employee to report uncompensated work time."