A federal court has denied a defendant-employer’s request that plaintiffs sift through and turn over all their social media posts made during their work hours in an FLSA collective action in which the plaintiffs claim their employer failed to give them meal breaks. How did that happen? I thought you’d never ask.
Continue Reading Court Denies Employer’s Access to Social Media Posts in FLSA Collective Action and Sends Warning: If You Want Access to Social Media, Come with Both Barrels Loaded … Leave the Water Gun at Home

The Northern District of Ohio is the latest in a long line of courts to send the following message to nationwide collective class plaintiffs: Stop seeking nationwide class certification where the plaintiffs are spread across facilities and have too many factual differences to be "similarly situated" and to have experienced a common injury under the

We have kept you up to speed on Martin v. Spring Break ’83 Productions, L.L.C., here and then here, a Fifth Circuit case in which the Fifth Circuit approved a private settlement of employees’ claims for unpaid overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"). More specifically, the court held that parties could privately

In September, we told you about the Sixth Circuit’s decision in Frye v. Baptist Memorial Hospital, Inc., where the court handed down, not one, but two favorable rulings for employers in an FLSA collective action. First, the court held that automatic pay deduction policies for unpaid meal breaks do not per se violate the

As you might recall, in August we blogged on Martin v. Spring Break ’83 Productions, LLC, a case involving the blockbuster movie “Spring Break ’83” [stated with sarcasm], where the Fifth Circuit became the first federal appellate court to enforce a private FLSA settlement. In that blog, available here, we crossed our fingers and hoped the Fifth Circuit’s decision would come to a jurisdiction near you. Well, that hope is one step closer to reality as the plaintiffs/appellants – now the Petitioners – filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari (the “Petition”) and asked the United States Supreme Court to review the case.
Continue Reading Martin v. Spring Break ’83 Productions, LLC … the Sequel or Part Deux? The Supreme Court is Asked to Review Whether a Private Settlement Agreement Dismissing FLSA Claims is Enforceable

In Frye v. Baptist Memorial Hospital, Inc., the United States District Court for the Sixth Circuit handed down not one, but two favorable rulings for employers in an FLSA collective action.
Continue Reading The Sixth Circuit Gives Employers a “Twofer”: An Employer’s Automatic Pay Deduction Policy Does Not Automatically Violate the FLSA and a Class Plaintiff Must “Commence” Suit

 The Ohio Department of Commerce recently released new prevailing wage guidelines.  These guidelines, which became effective on October 15, 2008 and are available at http://com.ohio.gov/laws/,  focus on construction projects supported by both public and private funds.  Essentially, whenever a public entity contributes funding or other direct support (such as public land) to a project, even

The United States Department of Labor (DOL) recently released two new opinion letters. Both are employer-friendly.

Opinion Letter FLSA2008-1 addressed whether purchasing agents in a private sector company were properly categorized as exempt administrative employees. Based on the specific context, DOL determined that the employees were exempt from overtime requirements. As a reminder, to meet the criteria for an administrative exemption, the position must: (1) meet the salary basis test; (2) have a “primary duty” of performing office or non-manual work directly related to the management or general business operations of the employer or the employer’s customers; and (3) include the exercise of discretion and independent judgment with respect to matters of significance in performing the primary duties. 29 C.F.R. § 541.200(a).  

Continue Reading Wage and Hour Update: New Opinion Letters from DOL

Are you making improper deductions from employees’ pay without even realizing it?  Have you ever had a manager who is consistently late and you want to impose a fine equal to 15 minutes of pay for each occurrence?  Or an hourly employee who loses or destroys company tools or equipment and you want them to pay you back for what they broke?  What about an employee who resigns while he or she has a negative leave balance? In all these situations, making a deduction from pay makes logical sense.  But these deductions may be contrary to wage and hour law.

First, many states have laws requiring employers to obtain employee authorization prior to making deductions from pay.  The Ohio wage and hour statutes refer to “employee authorized deductions” generally and specifically require employers to have express authorization before making deductions for damage to tools or equipment.  See Ohio Rev. Code §§ 4113.15; 4113.19.  Pay careful attention to state law before you make any deductions from pay!  You should also consider including a general deductions policy in your handbook, and realize that you may need to obtain specific waivers for certain deductions from pay.

Continue Reading Deductions From Pay Can Be Dangerous!