Wage & Hour Litigation Blog

Category Archives: DOL Enforcement

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ContractorGate: Court Awards Employer Over $550,000 In Attorney’s Fees And Costs Based On DOL’s Unreasonable Litigation Position

Posted in DOL Enforcement, Independent Contractors, Misclassification/Exemptions

Co-authored by Julie G. Yap and Rachel M. Hoffer

This week, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas ordered the Department of Labor to fork over $565,527.61 in attorneys’ fees and costs to a Texas employer.  Why such a hefty fee award?  The DOL’s position that the employer misclassified gate attendants as independent contractors was not … Continue Reading

Hitting the Unpaid Intern Trifecta: Litigation, Certification, and Settlement

Posted in Conditional Certification, DOL Enforcement, Overtime

Co-authored by Adam Smiley and Nadia Bandukda

With the Kentucky Derby less than a month away, we have a trifecta of unpaid internship developments for you:

First, On April 4th, the U.S. Department of Labor filed an amicus brief… Continue Reading with the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, arguing in support of the Hearst unpaid interns, who are appealing the Southern District

President Directs Secretary of Labor to Begin the Regulatory Process

Posted in DOL Enforcement, Misclassification/Exemptions, Salary Basis

Authored by Alex Passantino

As we expected when we reported on this yesterday, President Obama today signed a Presidential memorandum directing the Secretary of Labor to “restore the common sense principles” related to overtime.  In his remarks, President Obama focused on his belief that overtime protections have “eroded,” that “if you work more, you should be paid more,” and that … Continue Reading

Exempt No More? DOL to Propose Sweeping Changes to White Collar Exemptions

Posted in DOL Enforcement, Misclassification/Exemptions, Salary Basis

Authored by Alex Passantino

Today, the New York Times reported that the Obama Administration intends to propose comprehensive changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act’s most significant exemptions — the exemptions for executive, administrative, and professional employees.  

Although the details are still fuzzy, it appears — as we suggested last week — that the Administration will seek to raise the … Continue Reading

Keeping the Pressure on Employers, Administration Requests $41 Million Budget Increase for Wage & Hour Division

Posted in DOL Enforcement

Co-authored by Alex Passantino and Lawrence Lorber

Yesterday, the White House released the President’s budget request for FY2015.  The U.S. Department of Labor’s budget request includes more than $11.8 billion in funding increases across all of its programs.  The Wage & Hour Division would get $41 million of that increase. 

This massive (18%) increase to WHD’s budget seeks to … Continue Reading

University Goes To School On Internship Database

Posted in DOL Enforcement, Misclassification/Exemptions

Authored by Adam Smiley

This blog has often reported on the rise of unpaid internship lawsuits.  (See here and here.)  These suits have been driven by an aggressive plaintiffs’ bar that smelled opportunity based on a number of convenient facts:  many employers have an internship program, formal or informal; many interns are unpaid, or if paid work enough hours … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Questions Judicial Deference to New York State Department of Labor

Posted in DOL Enforcement, State Laws/Claims

Authored by Gena Usenheimer

How much deference should courts give to interpretive guidance of the New York Department of Labor?  We’ll soon find out, as the Second Circuit has certified the question to the New York Court of Appeals.  The answer has the potential to significantly impact employers throughout New York.

The question arose out of Ramos v. SimplexGrinnell LPContinue Reading

Is The Executive Pen Mightier Than the Congressional Act? President Obama To Issue Executive Order Increasing Minimum Wage For Certain Federal Contract Workers To $10.10

Posted in DOL Enforcement, Executive Orders

Co-authored by Alex Passantino and Jeremy W. Stewart

In advance of tonight’s State of the Union Address, the White House announced that the President will issue an Executive Order that will increase the minimum mandatory wage paid to employees of federal contractors covered by the Service Contract Act (for federal service contracts) (“SCA”) and the Davis-Bacon Act (for federal construction … Continue Reading

Trifles and Tribulations: Supreme Court Decides Meaning of “Changing Clothes” Under § 203(o) of the FLSA

Posted in Defenses, DOL Enforcement, Off-the-Clock Issues

Authored by Jessica Schauer Lieberman

The Supreme Court ruled today that steelworkers are not entitled to pay for time spent changing into flame-retardant suits, hardhats, gloves, and other protective items where their union agreed to exclude that time from the compensable workday.  In doing so, the Court took a refreshingly pragmatic approach to an area that previously has been interpreted … Continue Reading

Wage & Hour Division Obtains Nearly $250 Million in Back Wages

Posted in DOL Enforcement

Authored by Alex Passantino

In a recent newsletter, the Department of Labor announced that, in the fiscal year ending September 30, 2013, the Wage & Hour Division recovered $249,954,412 in back wages for more than 269,250 workers.  According to DOL, since early 2009, WHD has closed 145,884 cases nationwide, resulting in more than $1 billion in back wages for … Continue Reading