On October 24, 2022, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion in Cadena v. Customer Connexx LLC holding that the time employees spend booting up their computers is compensable under the Fair Labor Standards Act (the “FLSA”). The decision reverses a 2021 Nevada district court’s decision that came to the opposite conclusion, holding that time spent initiating computers was not compensable.
Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Requires Employee Compensation for Pre-Shift Duties Under FLSA

The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division is expected to propose new rules on independent contractor classification and overtime entitlement requirements in the coming weeks. The proposals would alter the qualifications for certain employees to receive overtime payments under the Fair Labor Standards Act when they work in excess of 40 hours in one week.
Continue Reading Upcoming Proposed Changes to DOL’s Independent Contractor and Overtime Rules

Last Thursday, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) published in the Federal Register its newly-proposed rule regarding independent contractor vs. employee classification under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA” or the “Act”).  Businesses have anticipated the release of this proposed rule from the Biden administration’s DOL since the DOL withdrew a more employer-friendly, Trump-era independent contractor rule in May 2021 that had not yet gone into effect.

Continue Reading DOL Proposes Updates to Independent Contractor Requirements

Court watchers following the ripple effects of groundbreaking wage and hour opinion Swales v. KLLM Transport Services, LLC, 985 F.3d 430 (5th Cir. 2021) (“Swales”) may have gained their first insight into the Supreme Court’s thought process following Chief Justice John Robert’s refusal to pause a conditional collective action certification in Maximus Inc. v. Thomas, et al., No. 22A164, currently pending in the Eastern District of Virginia and following this decision and a failed appeal from the Fourth Circuit.
Continue Reading Swales Has Minimal Impact in Maximus’s Bid to Pause Collective Action Pending Appeal

Earlier this month, Democrats in the House of Representatives introduced the “Wage Theft Prevention and Wage Recovery Act” (“Act”). This proposed legislation seeks to amend the Federal Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) in several key ways.
Continue Reading Proposed “Wage Theft” Amendment Could Dramatically Alter FLSA Rights & Remedies

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

A small but growing number of employees are asking for cryptocurrency as a form of compensation.  Whether a substitute for wages or as part of an incentive package, offering cryptocurrency as compensation has become a way for some companies to differentiate themselves from others.  In a competitive labor market, this desire to provide innovative forms of compensation is understandable.  But any company thinking about cryptocurrency needs to be aware of the risks involved, including regulatory uncertainties and market volatility.
Continue Reading Cryptocurrency As Compensation: Beware Of The Risks

On September 9, 2021, the Fifth Circuit issued a 12-6 opinion in Hewitt v. Helix Energy Solutions Group, Inc., 15 F.4th 289 (5th Cir. 2021) that clarified the requirements for day rate workers to fall within one of the FLSA’s exemptions from overtime payment.  This ruling was hotly-contested because it made clear that employers must take additional steps to properly classify their day rate workers as exempt employees, even when those employees clearly exceed the financial threshold of the highly compensated exemption.  Many expect the decision to substantially affect the course of day rate FLSA litigation in the Fifth Circuit, especially misclassification disputes within the energy industry.
Continue Reading Cert Filed in Hope Supreme Court Will Reevaluate Fifth Circuit’s FLSA OT Ruling

On December 13, 2021, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) issued its long-awaited decision determining that the Massachusetts Independent Contractor Statute, G.L. c. 149, § 148B (“Independent Contractor Statute”), which establishes the three-pronged “ABC” test used to classify workers as independent contractors or employees – and provides for a rebuttable presumption that workers are employees unless the purported employer proves otherwise – is not the applicable standard to determine whether an entity is a joint employer.
Continue Reading Massachusetts High Court Rules “ABC” Test Is Inapplicable To Joint Employer Status