New Rule Means Overtime Pay for More Workers

Beginning December 1, 2016, many more employees will be entitled to overtime pay at a rate of one and one-half times their regular hourly rate for all hours worked over 40 per week. The Department of Labor has issued new regulations re-defining the positions that qualify as exempt from overtime compensation. Continue reading

Ask the Attorney – Wage and Hour Edition, Vol. 6

I work at a local gym, signing up new customers, taking payments, supervising other employees and whatever other tasks the owners tell me to do. Each day, the owners email me a to-do list that needs to be completed for the day. The owners set my schedule and tell me when to perform certain tasks, such as making the deposits for the day. I get paid a salary, but no taxes are ever taken out of my check and this past year I received a 1099 from the company rather than a regular W-2 which I have always gotten from prior jobs. Are they doing something wrong? – Dale F. Continue reading

Upcoming changes to the FLSA home care exemption

Currently, the FLSA exempts certain home care workers from the overtime and minimum wage requirements set forth in the law. The FLSA exemptions relating to home care workers are: 1) domestic service employees who provide “companionship services”; and 2) “live-in” domestic service employees. Workers in these two types of jobs are currently not being paid overtime and/or minimum wage because the FLSA does not apply to them. However, in October of 2013, the Department of Labor issued a new rule that would change the definition of these exemptions so that a broader class of workers will enjoy the overtime and minimum wage rights provided under the FLSA which will go into effect on January 1, 2015. Continue reading

Proposed Changes to the FMLA

Friday, the U.S. Secretary of Labor released a proposed change to the FMLA expanding the definition of “spouse” to include an eligible employee in a legal same-sex marriage, regardless of whether his or her residential state recognizes such marriages. See the News Release by the Department of Labor linked below for more information. Contact us if you have any questions about your rights under the FMLA.

Ask the Attorney, Labor Unions, Vol. 2

I was fired a month ago from a Union shop, where I made widgets. I was the best widget-maker they ever had! My supervisor never liked me (because everyone else liked me!) and he found a ridiculous reason to fire me. My Union filed a grievance over my termination, and I immediately filed for unemployment benefits. My former employer tried to argue that it fired me for a legitimate reason, but the unemployment office found in my favor. It could see what a stupid decision my supervisor made when he fired me! Since I won my unemployment benefits, I don’t know why the company doesn’t just reinstate me now. I’m guaranteed to win my grievance, right? – Fighting Mad Continue reading

Ask the Attorney – Wage and Hour Edition, Vol. 5

I am an electrician who works for a small company that is not a union shop. We landed a great job recently, on the new waste-water treatment plant in South Bend, IN. I make $12 an hour, and the plumber working on the same component I am assigned to wire is making $28 and benefits. He said he usually makes $12 an hour, too, but his employer has to pay the higher rate because this is a publicly funded project. When I asked my boss about it, he said that rate difference doesn’t apply to electricians, just to the plumbers because they’re union. The plumber told me his shop isn’t a union shop. I am confused – why would plumbers make more money on the job but not me? Confused and poor – Alan M. Continue reading