On July 20, 2020, the Wage and Hour Division of the US Department of Labor (DOL) published additional COVID-19 guidance in the form of a Q&A addressing Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA) issues arising when employers and employees return to work.

A few days before, on July 17, the DOL published streamlined optional-use forms for employer and employee notification and certification obligations under the FMLA and separately asked the public to comment on the FMLA and its regulations in a Request for Information (RFI). The additional guidance and forms should help employers navigate FMLA leave and employee wage and hour issues during COVID-19. And employers now have the opportunity to share their thoughts on the FMLA and its implementing regulations with the DOL. We provide more insight into the DOL’s recent activity below.


Continue Reading New Q&As, New Streamlined Forms, and an RFI: the Department of Labor Publishes More COVID-19 Guidance and Seeks Public Comment on the FMLA

Starting last summer, employers began preparing to comply with the Obama administration’s revisions to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations for the executive, administrative, and professional overtime exemptions (“white collar” exemptions). If implemented, the revised overtime rule would dramatically expand the number of workers eligible for overtime pay and would impact most U.S. employers.

As Hurricane Harvey strengthens and threatens Texas and the Gulf Coast, it’s a good time for Texas employers to consider potential pay-related issues that can arise from inclement weather. Be it rising floodwaters or hurricanes in the Gulf (and the endless news coverage of the same), here are 5 tips to help your business when employees are absent due to inclement weather.
Continue Reading Employee Pay During Inclement Weather: Five Tips to Stay Afloat

Internal pay audits are rarely enjoyable. Depending on the scope, these audits can be complex and require detailed analysis.  However, in the current legal climate, an internal audit can be extremely valuable and greatly reduce, or even eliminate, potential liability for wage and hour claims as well as pay equity claims.  As previously reported on this blog, increased scrutiny into pay equity discrimination, changes in EEO-1 reporting requirements, the Department of Labor’s joint employment efforts, and the updated FLSA exemption rules continue to place companies at greater risk of government audits, fines, and lawsuits.

Many employers may have already reviewed and updated their policies in anticipation of the changes to the “white collar” FLSA exemptions, which go into effect on December 1, 2016. But if your company has not yet done so, or to the extent you have not conducted a more comprehensive internal audit, your company should strongly consider doing so as soon as possible for several reasons.
Continue Reading Don’t Wait! Now Is the Time to Conduct an Internal Wage & Hour Audit

As discussed in a prior post, the Department of Labor’s new overtime regulations increase the weekly minimum salary threshold an employee must be paid to maintain exempt status under the FLSA’s “white collar” exemptions. The Final Rule, which becomes effective December 1, 2016, could affect up to 4.2 million employees according to DOL estimates. But an employer hoping to classify its employees as exempt need not meet the new threshold entirely through base salary. Instead, the new regulations allow employers to use bonuses, commissions, and incentive payments to satisfy up to 10% of the minimum salary threshold.
Continue Reading “Catching Up” on Exempt Status—Using Bonuses and Incentive Payments to Meet the FLSA’s New Salary Threshold

On May 18, 2016, the Department of Labor finalized its highly anticipated overtime rule that updates the Fair Labor Standards Act’s “white collar” exemptions (including the executive, administrative, and professional exemptions) and the highly compensated employee exemption. Most notably, the Final Rule significantly increases the minimum salary an employee must earn to qualify for these exemptions. With an effective date of December 1, 2016, companies must understand the new Final Rule and take the appropriate steps to comply.
Continue Reading DOL Issues Final Overtime Rule—Are Your Exempt Employees Still Exempt?

As if oTexas Bar Today Top Tenil and gas companies didn’t already have enough to worry about, the U.S. Department of Labor’s wage and hour compliance initiative has targeted the oil and gas industry. Recently, numerous Texas-based oilfield services companies have been audited or sued, with several resulting in multi-million dollar payouts to employees misclassified as exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act. In light of the increased enforcement efforts, we discuss several misconceptions about exemption status and overtime pay. 
Continue Reading Are Your Exempt Employees Really Exempt?