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As employment law constantly changes, the attorneys at Bean, Kinney & Korman stay up to date on the law as it develops. Our blog topics focus on those changes and what you need to know about them, ranging from severance agreements and the FLSA to social media in the workplace and recent court decisions. If you are interested in having us cover a specific topic, please let us know.

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Posts tagged "department of labor".
Construction Services Company Flagged for Unpaid Employee Travel Time

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) continues to focus considerable enforcement attention on when employees must be paid for travel time between home and their office or worksite under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Construction and building trades companies remain at the forefront of the enforcement efforts of the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division (“WHD”), as exemplified by the recent consent judgment that ended the lawsuit brought by the DOL against AWP, Inc., a company that provides traffic control “flagging” services for temporary construction work zones.

DOL Allows Employers to Electronically Post Required FLSA/FMLA Notices

2020 will undoubtedly be remembered as the year of the COVID-19 pandemic, and as the year that telework gained widespread acceptance in the U.S. While remote work creates several benefits for employers, it also comes with some challenges. In guidance issued this week, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) took on one of those issues: Under what circumstances can employers satisfy the mandatory requirement to physically post notices (“continuous posting”) or notify employees individually (“individual notices”) under certain federal statutes – here, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)  -- by email or internet or intranet websites?

DOL Adjusts their View of Telemedicine to Support FMLA Leave

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued guidance clarifying that telemedicine examinations or treatment, which have become increasingly widespread by necessity during the COVID-19 pandemic, may be used by employees as the equivalent of an “in-person visit to a health care provider” for the purpose of establishing a “serious health condition” under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

DOL Issues New Tipped Employee Rules under the FLSA

As a Court of Appeals panel in Richmond pointed out recently, employer FLSA obligations are simple enough for employees who receive a traditional hourly wage but get far murkier and more complicated in the restaurant industry, where employees typically receive compensation through tips or gratuities and employers are permitted to take a “tip credit” to offset a part of the minimum hourly wage due restaurant employees.

Summer Camps Closed Due to COVID-19? DOL Issues Additional Guidance for FFCRA Leave Eligibility

With the arrival of summer the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued some additional guidance last week to clarify when an employee may take leave under the Family First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) to care for the employee’s child based on the closure of a summer camp, summer enrichment program, or other summer program for COVID-19-related reasons. The new guidance adds some gloss to the partial answer previously provided by the DOL earlier in the month, when it addressed the availability of FFCRA leave in the context of pending school summer closures, which you can read about here.

DOL Final Rule: Employers Can Pay Bonuses and Premium Pay Under FLSA Fluctuating Workweek Compensation

On May 20, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced a new final rule clarifying that employers are permitted to pay bonuses or other incentive-based pay to salaried, nonexempt employees whose hours vary from week to week. Such bonus or premium pay, on top of the fixed salary paid to an employee, are compatible with the use of the so-called “fluctuating workweek” method of compensation under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The DOL issued the final rule to highlight the flexibility that employers have to provide bonuses or other forms of additional compensation under the fluctuating work method of compensation and to clear up the differing judicial opinions that have resulted from the DOL’s past guidance. 

5 Takeaways from DOL’s Proposal to Change FLSA Overtime Rules

On March 7, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued proposed rules that would update the salary threshold for the Fair Labor Standard Act’s (FLSA) so-called “white collar” or “EAP” exemptions from overtime. The importance of this issue for employers is tied to the fact that an employee must be paid on a salary basis at or above the DOL’s specified minimum weekly salary level in order to be exempt from the FLSA’s overtime pay requirements.  

What Changes

Currently, employees paid a weekly salary below $455 per week ($23,660 per year) are deemed non-exempt and must be paid overtime for all hours worked over 40 per week.

OFCCP Final Rule Prohibits Pay Secrecy Policies by Federal Contractors

Federal contractors, take notice: did you know that it is now illegal as a federal contractor to prevent your employees from discussing their compensation? The Department of Labor’s recent ruling may significantly impact your business and necessitate changes to your policies and practices. Continue reading to determine whether your business will be affected and how.

Delayed Posting.jpgThe U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has once again delayed publication of its final rule on “persuader activities.” The DOL’s final rule was initially scheduled for publication in November 2013. As that date approached, the DOL rescheduled publication for March 2014. Having now hit that mark, the DOL once more has pushed off publication—this time without setting a future date. The new date is expected to be announced in the DOL’s Spring 2014 Regulatory Agenda.

In June 2011, the DOL published revisions to the persuader rule which broaden the scope of an employer’s reportable union-related activities by substantially limiting the application of the “advice” exemption in Section 203(c) of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA).

The Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor recently released a timesheet application on the Apple iTunes store.  On May 9, 2011, “DOL – Timesheet” became available for download.  The application allows employees to keep track of hours worked and amount of pay owed including overtime.  Through the app, employees are able to maintain an “electronic timecard” where they click to clock-in and out, record breaks, enter comments, receive a summary and even send the summary via email.

Optimized-DOL - Timesheet.jpg

While the application contains many features, it also possesses several significant limitations.  The “app” does not have the capability to take into account items such as tips, commissions, bonuses, deductions, and holiday pay.  Still, in a press release from the Department of Labor, Secretary Hilda L. Solis praised the app stating “this app will help empower workers to understand and stand up for their rights when employers have denied their hard-earned pay.” 

Currently, the app is only available for iPhone and iPod Touch.  The Department of Labor has plans to make versions available for Blackberry and Android users in the future. 

Since its release there has been quite a bit of commentary about its usefulness.  As of today the app has a rating of 3.5 stars out of a possible 5 in Apple’s app store.   Many of the ratings come from two extremes – users either love the app or they despise it.  Comments ranged from “simple and efficient”, “easy interface” to complaints about how the app will lead to increased complaints from employees.

While the app will be helpful for some employees, the results produced will only be as accurate as the data entered.  Employers could face increased complaints over alleged miscalculations in time worked due to an employee’s failure to record time in the app at the same time as they clock-in and out for work. 

Additionally, the release of the app signifies the importance of ensuring that employees are fully aware of employer payroll policies.  Taking a proactive approach in refreshing employees on timekeeping policies and ensuring that recordkeeping is adequate, complete and in compliance with State and Federal law will go a long way towards avoiding future issues and complaints.