Texas Employment Law Update

Texas Employment Law Update

A Resource for Texas Employers

Tag Archives: overtime

BREAKING NEWS: Federal Judge Blocks DOL Final Rule on White Collar Exemptions

Posted in Uncategorized
Today, a Texas federal judge issued a nationwide preliminary injunction blocking the implementation of the U.S. Department of Labor’s final rule imposing an increased salary level to qualify for the administrative, professional, executive and highly-compensated exemptions to overtime.  Short of an order staying the district judge’s injunction, the DOL’s rule will be on hold, nationwide, indefinitely. A copy… Continue Reading

Use the New Overtime Rules to Correct Misclassified Workers

Posted in Human Resources, Wage & Hour
This week the DOL announced changes to the white collar overtime exemptions that take effect December 1, 2016. Every employment lawyer with a newsletter, blog or soapbox has written some summary of the new regulations. And while the regulations only effect the executive, administrative, professional and high compensated exemptions, Daniel Schwartz, a Connecticut employment lawyer… Continue Reading

DOL Announces Details of Final Rule Changing Regulations on the Overtime Exemptions

Posted in Human Resources, News & Commentary, Wage & Hour
Last night the U.S. Department of Labor announced details of its long-awaited Final Rule on changes to the regulations interpreting the overtime exemptions to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  The FLSA is the federal law requiring most employers to pay minimum wages and overtime to nonexempt employees.  The Final Rule raises the minimum salary an exempt… Continue Reading

12 Signs You May Have a Wage and Hour Problem (and Should Call an Employment Lawyer Now)

Posted in Human Resources, Wage & Hour
There has been an explosion of wage and hour collective actions failed against Texas employers in the last five years.  This has been particularly prevalent in the oil field services sector.  If you are a Texas employer, and using any of 12 pay practices below, you should consult with an employment lawyer to ensure you… Continue Reading

Don’t Forget to Consider Whether Year-End Bonuses Trigger Overtime Adjustments

Posted in Wage & Hour
As we get to the end of the year, management committees and corporate boards are in the process of approving year-end bonuses for employees.  A frequently overlooked wage and hour mistake is failing to include non-discretionary bonuses in the regular rate of pay for non-exempt employees. In calculating the regular rate of pay on which… Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit Confirms Use of Fluctuating Workweek Method of Overtime Calculation in Misclassification Case

Posted in Case Summaries, Wage & Hour
In settlement negotiations and trial of FLSA overtime misclassification cases, there is usually a disagreement between the parties as to how the unpaid overtime should be calculated. Attorneys representing employees typically want overtime calculated using a 1.5 times the regular rate of pay for each overtime hour that was worked. Attorneys representing companies typically want to utilize… Continue Reading

Finally, Private Litigants Can Settle Bona Fide FLSA Disputes Without DOL or Court Supervision!

Posted in Case Summaries, Wage & Hour
Some of you may be surprised to learn that conventional wisdom was that claims arising under the Fair Labor Standards Act (the federal law requiring the payment of minimum wage and overtime to most employees) cannot be released or waived without court or Department of Labor supervision. I certainly thought that until several years ago when I had… Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit Holds 24 Hour Fitness Arbitration Agreement Illusory and Unenforcable

Posted in Arbitration, Case Summaries, Wage & Hour
24 Hour Fitness operates health clubs and fitness facilities across the country.  As part of its operations, 24 Hour Fitness employs sales representatives.  As a condition of employment, employees are required to enter into arbitration agreements to arbitrate their employment disputes with their employer.  FLSA claims (i.e., overtime and minimum wage claims) are covered within the scope of the… Continue Reading

End-of-Year Bonuses, the Regular Rate of Pay and Overtime

Posted in Wage & Hour
With many employers considering whether and when to pay end-of-year or holiday bonuses, I thought it was a good time to review the rules for when bonuses or other compensation must be included in the regular rate of pay for purposes of paying overtime.  This is one issue that still trips up Texas employers. Nonexempt employees are entitled to overtime… Continue Reading

Court Enters Judgment Against Police Officers on Overtime Suit Against City

Posted in Case Summaries, Wage & Hour
In a recent case out of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, a federal judge entered summary judgment for the City of Fort Worth in an FLSA overtime case filed by four former police officers.    In Clark v. City of Fort Worth, Texas, four retired City of Fort Worth police officers filed a FLSA putative collective action seeking to represent… Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit Holds that FLSA Action Is Improper Forum for Employer to Seek Set-Off Against Wage and Overtime Claims

Posted in Case Summaries, Judicial Updates, Wage & Hour
Employers often consider asserting counterclaims against employees who file lawsuits against them.  Most lawyers representing employers counsel against filing counterclaims except in exceptional cases (e.g., an employee’s theft of trade secrets or breach of a covenant not to compete). However, where an employer pays an employee valuable severance benefits in return for a release or a… Continue Reading

Police Sergeant Sues for Overtime Based on Time Spent Reading and Responding to E-mails

Posted in Wage & Hour
Last year I wrote about the risks associated with providing company issued cell-phones or PDA’s to nonexempt employees.  Since that post, there continues to be lawsuits filed seeking unpaid overtime for the off-the-clock time nonexempt employees spend reading and responding to work-related e-mails.  The most recent example is that of a police sergeant for the City of… Continue Reading

Facts Make the Difference in Misclassification Cases

Posted in Wage & Hour
Lawyers prosecuting and defending wage and hour misclassification cases (i.e., exempt/nonexempt and employee/contractor) will emphasize how fact intensive these inquiries can be.   The importance of factual distinctions in litigating misclassification cases is demonstrated by two cases recently decided by the Fifth Circuit.  In Cromwell v. Driftwood Electrical Contractors, a panel of the court of appeals held… Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit Reverses Judgment for Company that Classified Employees As Independent Contractors

Posted in Wage & Hour
Recently I wrote about the risks posed by misclassifying employees as independent contractors.   In an unpublished opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (the federal appellate court that hears appeals from Texas) reversed a summary judgment awarded in favor of a company that had classified two cable splicers who performed post-Katrina telecommunications repair… Continue Reading

Balancing Employee Efficiency with Overtime Risk: Hourly Employees Use of Smart Phones for Work

Posted in Human Resources, Wage & Hour
Employees frequently stay connected with work through company issued smart phones.  Smart phones, like the iPhone, Blackberry, and Treo, allow employees to have access to their work e-mails, calenders and contacts –in addition to making and receiving calls.  In my practice, a smart phone is incredibly useful in staying in touch with my client’s needs when I’m in… Continue Reading

DOL Announces Intent to Hire 250 Additional Wage & Hour Investigators

Posted in Wage & Hour
Following a GAO report that concluded that the Department of Labor inadequately investigated complaints from low-wage and minimum wage workers who claimed that their employers failed to pay the federal minimum wage, required overtime, and failed to pay employees their last paycheck the DOL has reacted.  This week, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis  announced that the DOL… Continue Reading