On May 2, 2022, the Supreme Court granted certiorari to Helix Energy Solutions Group Incorporated after Helix lost before the en banc United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in a sharply-divided opinion last year.  In Hewitt v. Helix Energy Solutions Grp., Inc., 15 F.4th 289 (5th Cir. 2021), the Fifth Circuit held 12-6 that employers must guarantee their day-rate workers a minimum weekly payment that is reasonably related to the amount those workers actually earn in that timespan for their workers to be exempt from the FLSA’s overtime requirements.  This minimum weekly payment must be a predetermined amount that does not change based on the number of days or hours actually worked, if the employer wishes to enjoy the FLSA’s exemptions to paying its day-rate workers overtime.
Continue Reading Supreme Court Will Consider Helix Day Rate Pay Case

COVID-19 has disrupted the global economy and employers may soon face the need to reduce expenses associated with exempt employees. Employers can place exempt employees on furlough, or, in some cases, reduce salaries and hours, without jeopardizing the FLSA exemption, but exceptions may need to be made for certain employees on work-authorized visas.
Continue Reading Reducing Exempt Employee Payroll in Response to Coronavirus Uncertainty

On April 1, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit decided Alvarado v. Corporate Cleaning Serv., Inc., 2015 WL 1456573 (7th Cir. Apr. 1, 2015), an important decision interpreting the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime requirements.
Continue Reading Seventh Circuit Reins in Overtime in Alvarado v. Corporate Cleaning Serv., Inc.

On June 18, 2012, in Christopher, et. al. v. SmithKline Beecham Corp., the United States Supreme Court issued its first decision interpreting the so-called white collar exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act and finally resolved the circuit split over whether pharmaceutical sales representatives are exempt as outside salespeople.  This decision is not only a long-awaited victory for the pharmaceutical industry, but also a key win for employers in all industries. In Christopher, the Supreme Court held that pharmaceutical sales reps qualify for the outside salesman exemption and are not entitled to overtime wages. The Court also unanimously rejected the U.S. Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) attempt at back-door regulation through an amicus brief, delivering a blow to the DOL’s recent enforcement campaign.Continue Reading One Small Step For Employers, One Giant Leap For The Pharmaceutical Industry

In a short and simple opinion by Judge Morton Greenberg, the U.S Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed summary judgment in favor of Johnson & Johnson against pharmaceutical sales representative Patti Lee Smith, finding that the FLSA’s administrative employee exemption applied to her.  The Third Circuit is the first court of appeals to examine the FLSA exempt status of pharmaceutical sales representatives.  The ruling in favor of the employer represents a significant development for pharmaceutical companies around the country, many of whom are facing similar FLSA lawsuits brought by their pharmaceutical sales representatives.Continue Reading Third Circuit Affirms FLSA Administrative Exemption for Pharmaceutical Sales Reps