Under the Fair Labor Standards Act’s tip credit rules, employers can pay a base hourly wage as low as $2.13/hour to employees who customarily and regularly receive at least $30/month in tips directly from customers.  (Iowa law requires a minimum base hourly wage of $4.35/hour to this type of tipped employee.)  Under both the Federal and Iowa statutes, employers must guarantee employees at least $7.25/hour (the federal and Iowa minimum wage) through a combination of…
On April 1, 2019, the Department of Labor announced a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) for Part 791 of Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations for the Fair Labor Standards Act that will “ revise and clarify the responsibilities of employers and joint employers to employees in joint employer arrangements”.  This regulation had not been meaningfully revised since 1958. The DOL has been busy, indeed.  This NPRM joins two others that…
On March 28, the U.S. Department of Labor announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to clarify and amend the agency rules regarding the regular rate provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act that have not been comprehensively revised in more than 50 years.  Yesterday’s announcement was expected, per previous posts on this blog (11/2/18 & 2/5/19).  The DOL states that the proposal will: clarify and better define the regular rate for today’s workplace…
As we discussed here, on Thursday, March 7, 2019, the Wage and Hour Division of the United States Department of Labor publicly released notice that it was proposing a change to the rules establishing the standards that needed to be met for persons in certain “white collar” positions to be exempt from the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act.  While through the press release, “the public” knows what is being proposed, the…
Recently, an employer came to the firm with a letter  from the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD).  The letter was unlike any other I had seen WHD send out during my career or since I retired.  After checking, I learned it is a new approach to compliance by the WHD. The letter’s key paragraph explains its purpose this way: “This office has information that you may be engaged in compensation practices that do not…
On Thursday, March 7, 2019, the Wage and Hour Division of the United States Department of Labor issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding certain of the “white collar” exemptions from the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act.  In January 2019, we noted that this would be coming. The proposed rule would increase the minimum salary under the salary basis test from the current $455 per week  ($23,660 annualized) to $679 per week…
Under the FLSA, the “regular rate” is a mathematical computation used to determine the straight-time rate of pay for non-exempt employees to properly compute overtime premium pay.  It is an often misunderstood and misapplied concept.  In the hundreds of FSLA presentations I have made over the years, the question of how to compute overtime premium pay for non-exempt employees who receive multiple forms of pay almost always comes up.  When it does, I get sheepish…
According to several sources, including Bloomberg Law, the DOL has sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for pre-publication approval proposed regulations that would raise the minimum salary requirement for the FLSA White Collar Exemptions (aka the “Overtime Rule”) If approved, these regulations would replace an Obama era DOL rule issued in 2016 that was never implemented, but would have increased the minimum salary level to qualify for the exemption as an executive,…
The Wage and Hour Watch reported on the reintroduction of Administrator’s Opinion Letters by DOL’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) earlier this year.   Opinion Letters are WHD’s responses to fact-specific questions submitted by employers and employee organizations about aspects of FLSA and FMLA compliance that are not addressed in the statutes and regulations.  WHD publishes opinion letters on its website, keeping the names of requestors confidential.  In this way, all employers and employees may…
Back in 1982 when I began my career with the Wage and Hour Division (WHD), I attended an intense four-week classroom training program for new WHD investigators.   On the first day, the trainees were instructed to tell employers during the investigative visit, “I’m with the government and I’m here to help”.  I cannot speak for my fellow trainees, but I did not care to argue that dubious point with employers, or defend how I was…