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After Cold Reception from Appellate Courts, DOL Rescinds Internship Enforcement Guidance and Adopts “Primary Beneficiary” Test

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In the wake of multiple federal courts rejecting its previous guidance, the Department of Labor (DOL) has revised its guidelines for determining when an intern may qualify as an “employee” under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA.) Going forward, the DOL will follow the “primary beneficiary” test–a standard endorsed by several appellate courts. This shift may reduce costly investigations and lawsuits, because the “primary beneficiary” factors are viewed as providing more flexibility in structuring unpaid internship programs. More

A Tipping Point? DOL Reconsiders Stance on Tip Pooling

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On December 4, 2017, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced proposed changes that could have a large impact on many businesses that employ tipped workers. Citing changes in state laws and significant litigation involving tip pooling, the DOL is considering rescinding certain restrictions on tip pooling for employers who do not claim a tip credit against the federal minimum wage. A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding these potential changes was published on December 5, 2017 for public comment. More

Halt the Lawsuit: Appeal of DOL’s Salary Level Raise on Hold

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On November 6, 2017, a federal appellate court granted the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) motion to halt the litigation surrounding its 2016 overtime rule. The 2016 rule would have more than doubled the salary thresholds for exempt employees under the administrative, executive, and professional exemptions. More

Employers Beware: The Sixth Circuit Clarifies How Sales Commission Plans Can Violate Wage and Hour Laws – Even When the Employer Does Not Enforce the Plan

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The Sixth Circuit’s recent decision in Stein v. hhgregg, Inc. should be required reading for any employer with a commission workforce. More

New Administration Abandons Appeal of Obama Era Increases, Leaving Status Quo for Now

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On September 5, 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) dropped its appeal in support of the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) intended increases to the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) salary-basis test for the white-collar overtime exemptions. The appeal stemmed from a preliminary injunction issued by a federal district court in Texas, which halted the nationwide implementation of the DOL’s 2016 amendments to the FLSA. The DOJ’s request to dismiss the appeal comes just days after the same federal judge permanently struck down those amendments. More

DOL Takes Another Look at the Overtime Regulations

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The Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued a request for information (RFI) relating to the 2016 amendments to the Fair Labor Standard Act’s (FLSA) overtime regulations. The DOL seeks information “to aid in formulating” revisions to the amended regulations that remain subject to a nationwide injunction. Once again, companies face uncertainty regarding impending changes to the FLSA’s regulations. More

A Return to the “Direct Control” Standard for Joint Employers

Today, in a return to pre-Obama era standards, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced the withdrawal of two informal guidance letters impacting the “joint employer” doctrine. More

Federal Court Extends Deadline in Appeal of FLSA Amended Overtime Regulations While Government Decides Whether to Press Case or Drop It

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A hot topic in 2016 was the implementation of new regulations more than doubling the minimum required salary amount for the executive, administrative and professional exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). In late November 2016, a federal court in Texas enjoined the rules from taking effect, and in December, President Obama’s administration appealed that ruling. More

Uncertainty Over Status of FLSA White Collar Amendments Continues: DOL Appeals Injunction to Fifth Circuit

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As most employers know by now, on November 22, 2016, a federal court in Texas issued a preliminary injunction that, at least temporarily, halted the implementation of the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) amendments to the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) white-collar exemptions. The amendments were to have gone into effect on December 1, 2016, and would have more than doubled the salary requirements for exempt executive, administrative, and professional employees. Much to the business community’s chagrin, this saga continues.  More

Federal Court Blocks New Overtime Rule

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In a surprising turn of events, a federal court in Texas issued a preliminary injunction yesterday halting the nationwide implementation of the Department of Labor’s new overtime rule increasing the salary threshold for exempt employees to $47,476 per year (for additional information on the rule, see Honigman’s prior blog posts.)  More