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Photo of The Employer's Wage and Hour Advisor Christopher R. Kazanowski
Partner
ckazanowski@honigman.com
313.465.7332
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Showing 6 posts by Christopher R. Kazanowski.

California Supreme Court Rejects De Minimis Exception and Requires Employers to Compensate Employees for Every Second of “Off-the-Clock” Work

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Once again, the California Supreme Court has held that California’s wage and hours laws do not always follow well-established rules applicable to claims under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (the FLSA).  More specifically, on July 26, 2018, in Troester v. Starbucks Corp., the California Supreme Court rejected Starbucks’ argument that the FLSA’s de minimis exception to compensable working time applied to wage claims brought under California wage and hour laws.  Instead, the court ruled that California employees must be paid for every minute (and possibly every second) of working time. More

Overtime Calculations in California: California High Court Favors an Expansive Formula and Declines to Follow Federal Precedent

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On March 5, 2018, the Supreme Court of California declined to follow federal precedent and ruled that employers must follow a more generous state formula for calculating overtime pay where employees receive flat sum bonuses. In Alvarado v. Dart Container Corp., the Court held that the “regular rate of pay” for any flat sum bonus must be calculated by dividing the total amount of the flat sum bonus by the number of non-overtime hours worked by the employee during the pay period applicable to the bonus. The calculated “regular rate of pay” is then multiplied by 1.5 or 2 (depending on the applicable overtime rate under California law) and the total number of overtime hours worked during the applicable pay period to get the total amount of overtime pay attributable to the bonus. 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

FRANCHISORS FACE TOUGH CHOICES WHEN CONFRONTED WITH U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR INVESTIGATIONS INVOLVING FRANCHISEES

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A franchisor may find itself between a rock and a hard place when the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) comes calling; particularly when the call concerns franchisee compliance under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). On the one hand, a franchisor can refuse to cooperate. Though such refusal risks an aggressive response by the DOL, including costly litigation and increased damages claims. On the other hand, a franchisor can agree to cooperate. However, such cooperation is not without its own risks. Among other things, such cooperation may spur on “joint employer” claims under the FLSA (and other laws) against the franchisor. More

First circuit upholds fluctuating workweek method for calculating overtime pay: Rules performance-based commissions do not violate FWW requirements

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Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), a non-exempt employee generally must be paid time and a half (1.5x) his or her regular rate of pay for all time worked in excess of 40 hours in a workweek.  The law nevertheless provides some exceptions. One such exception is the “fluctuating workweek method” for calculating overtime (FWW method). Using the FWW method, an employer need only pay an employee half (0.5x) his or her regular rate of pay for every hour over 40. This method makes pay more predictable and less variable to an employee where his or her hours fluctuate week-to-week. More

Who Benefits from Your Unpaid Internship Program? The Second Circuit Rejects the Department of Labor's "Rigid" Six-Factor Test, But Considerable Risks Remain for Private Employers Using Unpaid Interns

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Are you paying the intern you just sent out to grab your morning cup of coffee?  If not, you may have a wage and hour violation on your hands.  Private employers have increasingly come under attack over their use of unpaid interns by the Department of Labor and private litigants.  This is especially the case where an unpaid intern performs tasks more akin to an administrative assistant than an on-the-job student/trainee. More