Overview: The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was written in 1938, at a time when manufacturing and agriculture dominated the American economy. The law's structure for employee classification as exempt or nonexempt from minimum wage laws and overtime requirements reflects that simpler time. Although it has been updated periodically in the decades since, the FLSA's classification scheme is often difficult to apply to more modern service- and information-related jobs.
One type of employee that has proven especially difficult to fit into the employee classification structure – and has also been the plaintiff in hundreds of lawsuits – is managers. Today's lean, flexible workplace often necessitates that managers pitch in and perform nonexempt work, rather than stand around with a clipboard in hand directing other employees. The more nonexempt work they do, the more likely it is they need to be paid overtime.
Complicating matters is the fact that employees' job duties change frequently. Employers often make the mistake of classifying all employees with a particular job title as exempt. When changes in the workplace necessitate changes in an employee's job duties, that classification can be jeopardized. HR is well-positioned to stay on top of these changes, and must remember that FLSA classification is an ongoing challenge, not a one-time task.
In addition, it's important that employers follow state requirements regarding employee classification.
Trends: The two-headed dragon of employee lawsuits and government enforcement continues to make FLSA classification a key concern for HR. Many lawsuits have been collective actions, in which hundreds and sometimes even thousands of similarly situated employees sue as a group. The standard for certifying these collective actions is relatively lenient compared to other employment laws, and for many years, most courts allowed them to proceed. Recently, the pendulum appears to be swinging in the other direction, with more and more courts taking a more stringent stance on whether employees truly are similar enough to sue as a group.
Author: Michael Cardman, Legal Editor
This section helps HR professionals determine whether employees qualify for any of the exemptions from the overtime and/or minmum wage requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
New regulations that prohibit third-party employers from claiming the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) exemption for companionship services providers and narrow the range of duties that FLSA-exempt services providers may perform were upheld by the the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in Home Care Ass'n of Am. v. Weil.
Effective January 1, 2016, members of a bargaining unit recognized by the Illinois Labor Relations Board whose union has contractually agreed to a 1040/2080 alternate shift schedule will be exempt from the state's overtime requirements.
In-depth review of the spectrum of Illinois employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to employee classification.
In Chen v. Major League Baseball Props., the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that seasonal and recreational establishments that are part of a larger business or enterprise may still take advantage of a Fair Labor Standards Act exemption as long they are a "distinct, physical place of business."
The US House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections heard testimony about the US Department of Labor's proposal to roughly double the minimum salary for most employees exempt from the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
A new administrator's interpretation about independent contractors from the US Department of Labor does not appear to break any significant new ground, but offers examples and citations to case law.
In Glatt v. Fox Searchlight Pictures, Inc., the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals adopted the "primary beneficiary" standard for determining whether an intern should be considered an employee entitled to the minimum wage and overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals has established an employer-friendly standard for determining whether an intern should be considered an employee entitled to the minimum wage and overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in Glatt v. Fox Searchlight Pictures, Inc.
HR guidance on complying with the FLSA and state employee classification requirements. Support on following rules and regulations regarding this topic.