Employer Law Report

Tag Archives: Department of Labor

DOL Publishes its Proposed Rules on Military Family Leave and Flight Crews; FMLA Forms No Longer “Expired”

Proposed Regulations:
Yesterday, the Department of Labor published its proposed regulations (pdf) to address the recently enacted changes to military leave and eligibility requirements for flight crew members. Beyond the changes detailed below, the DOL clarified that employers are not required to provide employees with FMLA-protected military caregiver leave for the "serious injury or illness of a veteran" until final rules defining that term are issued. However, employers are required to comply with the expansion of qualifying exigency leave for foreign deployment of a family member in the regular Armed Services, in addition to the leave already available for family members …

Department of Labor Begins Enforcing Requirement that Employers Provide Breaks to Nursing Mothers

The Department of Labor has begun enforcing the law passed in March 2010 requiring break time for nursing mothers and has cited 15 employers for violations of the law. We wrote about this law at the time the statute went into effect. While there was little guidance about the law at that time, the Department of Labor has provided a little more direction since then. However, there are still no formal implementing rules for the requirement.

The health care reform law passed in 2010 amended the Fair Labor Standards Act requiring “reasonable” break time for employees who are nursing mothers. …

OFCCP Proposes Numerical Goals for Employment of Persons with Disabilities

The U.S. Department of Labor Office of Federal Contracts Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has proposed a new rule requiring federal contractors and subcontractors to set a goal to have 7% of their workforce be individuals with disabilities. Presently, federal contractors and subcontractors are only required to set percentage numerical goals for areas of their workforces where women and minorities are found to be underrepresented based on an "Availability Analysis" conducted under OFCCP regulations. The 7% goal for persons with disabilities proposed by OFCCP would apply to each job group in the contractor’s workforce. It is not based on any calculation by …

FLSA Hot Topic: The Fluctuating Workweek and Commission Pay

We’ve noticed some cases recently filed challenging employers’ use of the fluctuating workweek method to determine the overtime compensation for employees who receive commission payments. Plaintiffs are alleging that this practice is not permitted by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) when employees earn commissions in addition to their salaries. However, this issue is unresolved, and precedent seems to favor the employer defendants.

The fluctuating workweek method is permitted by FLSA regulation 29 C.F.R. § 778.114, promulgated by the Department of Labor to implement the Supreme Court’s holding in Overnight Motor Transp. Co. v. Missel, 316 U.S. 572, 580 …

Sixth Circuit Applies “Primary Benefit” Test To Uphold Unpaid Internship Program

In a decision issued on April 28, 2011, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals offers employers some clarity on the test to determine whether using unpaid interns or other student trainees violates the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). In this case, Solis, Secretary of Labor v. Laurelbrook Sanitarium and School Inc., 6th Cir. No. 09-6128, the Court threw out a U.S. Department of Labor lawsuit against a Tennessee religious school’s student work experience program.

The Department of Labor brought an action against the Laurelbrook school alleging that its students were "employees" and had to be paid under the FLSA. …

OFCCP Proposes New Affirmative-Action Rules for Veterans

On April 25, 2011, the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs announced a proposed rule to increase the affirmative action obligations federal contractors and subcontractors owe to veterans. It was published in the Federal Register on April 26 to allow for a 60-day comment period and will likely generate significant discussion among both contractor and veterans groups.

Some of the changes simply clean up regulatory language which is no longer accurate and others clarify existing obligations. The most controversial changes, however, add some rather significant data collection, monitoring, recruitment and hiring obligations. As the DOL’s news release …

Supreme Court Considers Weighing In On Key FMLA Waiver Issue

In July 2007, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals held in Progress Energy v. Taylor, 493 F.3d 454 (4th Cir. 2007), that, under the Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) regulations and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), employees cannot waive their rights under the FMLA in a private agreement, such as a severance agreement.  To waive FMLA rights, the Fourth Circuit held that the agreement must first be court- or DOL-approved.  Progress Energy, supported by several other business groups, appealed the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, citing a split between the Fourth and Fifth Circuits.  On January …

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