Tag Archives: Michael D. Thompson

Sweeping NJ “Wage Theft” Law Exponentially Expands Exposure for Wage Claims

As the result of a sweeping “Wage Theft” law (“Law”), which became effective upon enactment on August 6, 2019,  New Jersey employers will face toughened penalties and increased exposure for failure to pay wages, benefits and overtime (collectively “wages”) owed to workers. Employers should take immediate notice because any missteps or mistakes may prove extremely costly. In sum, the Law:

Read more

Read full article

New Jersey Appellate Division Panels Reach Different Conclusions on the Enforceability of Arbitration Agreements that are Exempt from Coverage under the FAA

Earlier this year, in New Prime, Inc. v. Oliveira, 586 U.S. __, 139 S. Ct 532 (2019), the United States Supreme Court held that the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) does not apply to arbitration agreements with independent contractors who are engaged in interstate commerce.  The Supreme Court did not address whether such agreements could be enforced through other laws.

Read more

Read full article

Wage and Hour Administrator Issues Opinion Letters Addressing the 8-and-80 Overtime Method, as well as “Fair Reading” of the FLSA Exemptions for Teachers & Agricultural Employees

The Acting Administrator of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division recently issued opinion letters addressing (i) the 8-and-80 overtime pay system available to certain healthcare employers; (ii) the overtime exemption for teachers, and (iii) the exemption for employees in agriculture.  The analyses and conclusions in those opinion letters are instructive for employers not only in those industries, but in many other industries as well, because they confirm the Department’s commitment to construing FLSA exemptions fairly rather than narrowly.

Read more

Read full article

The Third Circuit Defines the Requirements for Orders Certifying Wage Hour Class Actions

The obligations of a district court to analyze conflicting evidence regarding class and collective action certification was recently addressed by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Reinig v. RBS Citizens N.A., 912 F.3d 115, (3d Cir. 2018) (“Citizens”). In that case, the Third Circuit opined that Fed.R.Civ.P. 23 class certification orders (i) must explicitly define the classes and claims that are the subject of a certification order and (ii) provide an analysis of how the court reconciled any conflicting evidence supporting class certification.

Read more

Read full article

Third Circuit: Federal Law Does Not Preempt New Jersey’s ABC Test for Independent Contractors

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a federal statute that governs interstate trucking does not preempt the application New Jersey’s ABC test for distinguishing between employees and independent contractors.

Read more

Read full article

Third Circuit Court of Appeals Concludes That Employees Must Be Paid For All Rest Breaks of 20 Minutes Or Less Continue Reading…

Tips Do Not Count Towards the Minimum Wage Unless a Worker Qualified as a “Tipped Employe"It is a common practice for employers to provide their employees with rest breaks during the work day.  (And in some states, like California, it is required by state law.) But under what circumstances is an employer required to pay its employees for break time?

In U.S. Department of Labor v. American Future Systems Inc. et al., the Third Circuit Court of Appeals was asked to decide whether the Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to compensate employees for breaks of 20 minutes or less during which they are free from performing any work.

Read full article

Take 5 Newsletter: The Ground Continues to Shift in Wage and Hour Law Continue Reading…

A year ago, employers across the country prepared for the implementation of a new overtime rule that would dramatically increase the salary threshold for white-collar exemptions, on the understanding that the new rule would soon go into effect “unless something dramatic happens,” a phrase we and others used repeatedly.

And, of course, something dramatic did happen—a preliminary injunction, followed by a lengthy appeal, which itself took more left turns following the U.S. presidential election than a driver in a NASCAR race. The effect was to put employers in a constant holding pattern as they were left to speculate whether and when the rule would ever go into effect.

Read full article

Third Circuit Holds That Requirement to Arbitrate Disputes “Under This Agreement” Did Not Cover Wage Hour Claims Continue Reading…

In Moon et al v. Breathless, Inc., the Third Circuit reviewed the dismissal of a class and collective action under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the New Jersey Wage and Hour Law and the New Jersey Wage Payment Law.  The District Court for the District of New Jersey had dismissed the named plaintiff’s claims based on an arbitration clause in the written agreement between the her and Breathless, the club where she worked as a dancer.

In her lawsuit, the plaintiff alleged that she and other dancers were misclassified as independent contractors, and that Breathless unlawfully failed to pay them minimum wages and overtime pay.

Read full article

Tips Do Not Count Towards the Minimum Wage Unless a Worker Qualified as a “Tipped Employee”

Tips Do Not Count Towards the Minimum Wage Unless a Worker Qualified as a “Tipped Employe"In Romero v. Top-Tier Colorado LLC, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that tips received by a restaurant server for hours in which she did not qualify as a tipped employee were not “wages” under the FLSA, and therefore should not be considered in determining whether she was paid the minimum wage.

Read full article

Missouri Supreme Court Rules that St. Louis’ Minimum Wage Ordinance is Not Preempted by State Law

Michael D. ThompsonThe Missouri Supreme Court has overturned a lower court’s ruling that St. Louis’ minimum wage ordinance is invalid, finding that the ordinance is not preempted by the state law.

St. Louis City’s Ordinance 70078 (“the Ordinance”) provides for a series of increases to the minimum wage for employees working within the boundaries of St. Louis. The plaintiffs argued that Ordinance 70078 was preempted by the state minimum wage law.  The plaintiffs contended that state law affirmatively authorized employers to pay as little as $7.65 per hour, the state minimum wage rate.

Read full article