On July 1, 2019, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued an opinion letter regarding permissible rounding practices under the Service Contract Act (“SCA”). While the SCA governs government contractors, the DOL’s guidance is nevertheless helpful to retailers because the SCA incorporates Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) rounding principles, which are applicable to them.
Continue Reading Latest DOL Guidance Sanctions Rounding Practices

As reported on the Hunton Employment & Labor Perspectives Blog on May 14, 2019, Massachusetts’ highest court, The Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”), recently issued its long awaited decision in Sullivan v. Sleepy’s LLC, SJC-12542, in which the SJC responded to certified questions of first impression from the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts.
Continue Reading Massachusetts Retail and Inside Salespersons Are Now Entitled to Overtime and Sunday Premium Pay

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, employers in some instances may deduct money directly from the employee’s paycheck, notably for mistake or fraud. Continue reading for an in-depth look at the relevant laws retailers need to understand.
Continue Reading Employee Theft: Can Employers Deduct Suspected or Known Theft from an Employee’s Paycheck?

Earlier this month, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) dropped its defense of an Obama-era regulation that sought to increase the salary level for overtime-exempt employees from $23,660 per year to $47,476 per year. The regulation had been set to take effect in November 2016, but a last-minute preliminary injunction issued by a federal district court in Texas stayed the implementation of the regulation.

In the preliminary injunction ruling, the district court ruled that the new $47,476 salary threshold exceeded the scope of the DOL’s authority because such a high salary level had the effect of making an employee’s salary—and not their primary duty—the determinative factor in the exemption inquiry. Importantly, the district court’s preliminary injunction ruling went well beyond the appropriateness of the particular salary level at issue in the new regulation, and instead expressed the broader view that the DOL lacked the authority to impose any salary level requirement (regardless of the level of salary chosen) because the relevant provision of the FLSA focused on an employee’s duties, not their salary. 
Continue Reading DOL Drops Appellate Defense of Overtime Rule

On June 7, 2017, the Department of Labor announced that it is withdrawing two administrative interpretations issued by the Department of Labor under the Obama administration in 2015 and 2016 relating to misclassification of independent contractors and joint employment.
Continue Reading DOL Announces Rollback of Policies on Joint Employment and Employee Classification

Recently, two partners on Hunton & Williams’ Labor & Employment team discussed the possible effects of a recent Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals case that creates an altogether new and incredibly broad joint employment standard under the Fair Labor Standards Act. This blog post contains a link to the full article.
Continue Reading Fourth Circuit Decision Creates Incredibly Broad Joint Employment Standard

The United States Supreme Court has granted consolidated review of three cases to determine whether arbitration agreements that waive employees’ rights to participate in a class action lawsuit against their employer are unlawful.
Continue Reading Supreme Court to Rule on Legality of Class Action Waivers in Employer Arbitration Agreements

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, employers who use a tip credit to satisfy their minimum wage obligations for tipped employees must follow certain rules related to those tips. One of those rules relates to the use of tip pools – i.e., pooling of tips received by multiple tipped employees and then dividing the total among the pool participants based on a specified formula.
Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Approves DOL Regulation Expanding Tip-Pooling Rules to All Employers

As reported on the Hunton Employment and Labor Law Blog, the United States Supreme Court has denied a restaurant manager’s petition seeking review of whether parties may stipulate to the dismissal with prejudice of a lawsuit alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), or whether judicial or Department of Labor (“DOL”) approval is a prerequisite to such a dismissal, as the Second Circuit held in his case, Cheeks v. Freeport Pancake House, Inc. Having declined the petition for writ of certiorari, FLSA lawsuits will remain more difficult to resolve for employers in New York, Connecticut and Vermont.

Continue Reading Supreme Court Denies Review of Second Circuit Decision Compelling Court or DOL Approval of FLSA Settlements