Category Archives: Wage and Hour

THERE IS A FREE LUNCH

The Fair Labor Standards Act requires that an employee be compensated for all time that he suffers or is permitted to work. The question frequently arises as to when an employee is required to be compensated for times when he is not actually working – i.e., meals/breaks – if there is a restriction placed upon his activities during those times. This question arguably is addressed by the Department of Labor’s regulations which require that the employee be compensated for such periods unless he is completely relieved from all duties. Read More »

PAYROLL DEBIT CARDS COULD BE COSTLY TO EMPLOYERS

How do you pay your employees?  Although payroll debit cards can be attractive to employers and employees, employers should proceed with caution when utilizing them.  Employers cannot require their employees to receive wages on a payroll card; other alternatives, such as paper checks and direct deposit, must also be offered, and these requirements vary from state to state.-1x-1 Read More »

ANOTHER DENT IN EMPLOYMENT-AT-WILL IN PENNSYLVANIA?

Historically, Pennsylvania has been a strict employment-at-will state. Very few employee attempts to create a cause of action have been found to implicate a public policy of the Commonwealth and, thus, give rise to a private right of suit. Recently, a former employee was permitted to use the Pennsylvania Prohibition of Excessive Overtime in Health Care Act as a vehicle for such a claim. Read More »

THIRD CIRCUIT ADOPTS PREDOMINANT BENEFIT TEST FOR COMPENSABLE MEAL BREAKS

For most employers, knowing whether employees should be paid or not paid for lunches or breaks is a fairly straightforward determination.  However, some nuances in this area pose landmines, if you aren’t careful.  In Babcock v. Butler Cty., the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit – the federal appellate court with jurisdiction over Pennsylvania – was recently faced with one of these nuances in evaluating compensable meal time under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), and the Court’s determination is something which all employers who have various types of ‘on-call’ practices or who otherwise place contingent demands on their employees during breaks should probably have an understanding. Read More »

THE DOL TAKES ITS TURN WITH JOINT EMPLOYMENT

You may have heard that the concept of joint employment is getting its share of recent attention.  First, the NLRB got involved, with its decision in Browning-Ferris industries, which we wrote about here.  OSHA and the EEOC have been poking around in the area, too.  Now, it appears to be the Department of Labor’s turn.  Read More »

HANDLING EMPLOYEE ATTENDANCE AND PAY WHEN THE WEATHER OUTSIDE IS FRIGHTFUL

Like it or not, winter has finally arrived.  During times of snowy and icy road conditions, employers will undoubtedly be faced with tardiness, absenteeism, and the possibility of implementing office and/or plant closures.  One question that often arises during inclement weather is how to handle pay issues under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  If you find yourself in that boat snowmobile, read on!  images Read More »

ARE UNPAID INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS WORTH THE RISK?

Unpaid internship programs have become almost a prerequisite for many individuals entering the workforce today.  However, due to the recent wave of class action lawsuits by unpaid interns asserting claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), many employers have been questioning whether to continue their internship programs.  These lawsuits have become so pervasive that there is a website created and run by a law firm dedicated to filing such lawsuits.  Some of the defendants in recent class actions include Viacom, Sony, Fox Searchlight, Hearst Corporation, NBC Universal, and Madison Square Garden Company. Read More »

OFCCP ISSUES FINAL RULE IMPLEMENTING EXECUTIVE ORDER 13665

On April 8, 2014, President Obama signed Executive Order 13665, amending section 202 of Executive Order 11246 which had previously prohibited employment discrimination by federal contractors based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and national origin.  Executive Order 13665 added further protection for an employee’s or applicant’s inquiries, discussions, or disclosures regarding his or her own compensation or the compensation of another applicant or employee.  This protection typically applies when the applicant or employee obtains this information through ordinary means such as a discussion or conversation with a co-worker. Read More »