Authored by Alex Passantino
It’s the week before Christmas, and we’ve accepted our mission,
The annual wage hour “sum-up” composition.
And to start it all off, we’ve got something nice,
‘Cause the Supreme Court addressed wage and hour stuff twice.
The year started out with the first one of those;
As Justice Scalia answered “What counts as clothes?”
With one simple phrase, the Court cleaned up a mess,
Clothes should be “commonly regarded as articles of dress.”
Gloves and hardhats, and fireproof suits,
And your shirt and your pants (and, presumably, boots),
They all count as clothes, from your toes to your face.
But not glasses, or plugs that can block out the bass.
Then later this year, the Court came back again,
To answer the question, “The clock, it starts when?”
If you screen all your workers so they don’t steal your stuff,
And the clock stops before they’re in line, that’s enough.
The statute considered? ’Tis one that’s immortal.
The 68-year-old Portal-to-Portal.
With language so dated, it puts “whilst thou” to shame,
So we list the words here and we call them by name:
Principal Activity! Integral! And Indispensable!
The words that define whether work is compensable.
The task’s required? So what? That’s not a fight you should pick.
You pay only those duties whose element’s intrinsic.
Now we leave SCOTUS cases and we turn to the rest,
The five or six topics our blog writers liked best.
Appearing so often, it borders on a fixation.
Are cases addressing increased decertification
And non-certification (you know what we mean).
Early on, or at trial, and all points in between.
Surveys kicked out. Class reps were rejected.
Comcast has turned out to be nearly all we expected.
And even where Rio can dance on the sand,
Out came a case simply known as Duran.
If you’re asked to provide your trial proof logistics,
You can no longer just smile, shrug, and yell out “Statistics!”
So much litigation, so many cases to savor
And that’s only the issue of class–based arb waiver.
Add holding plaintiffs to standards when pleading a case,
And it kinda feels like employers are leading this race.
But just when you think wage claims might become less systemic,
We look at case numbers and declare “Epidemic!”
Interns, exemptions, independent contractor relations
Dominate dockets across the whole nation.
The government, too, makes employers squirm.
And this year, a new boss has gotten confirmed.
Those in restaurants, lodging, and others franchised,
Into DOL investigations, you’ll soon be baptized.
Now as we approach the end of the year,
And look forward to next, and the things we should fear,
At the top of the list, the elephant in the room,
Is the effort to make your exemptions go “Boom!”
In early 2015, we’ll know what DOL may have planned,
If the rules out in Cali will apply ‘cross the land.
But before we say bye to the year that’s near past
Thanks for reading our blog. You’ve made it a blast.
THANKS TO ALL OF OUR READERS. BEST WISHES FOR A HAPPY, HEALTHY, AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR!