Department of Labor (DOL)

Governmental entities play a vital role in upholding federal labor and employment regulations and would face significant disruption in the event of a government shutdown. In September, we provided a brief review on how a shutdown would affect the government agencies that enforce federal labor and employment laws — the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

On January 10, 2024, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published its final independent contractor rule in the Federal Registrar in an attempt to provide greater clarity and consistency on how to classify a worker as an employee or independent contractor under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

For decades, federal courts have analyzed the question using a multifactor, totality-of-the-circumstances economic reality test, with no factor or factors being dispositive. However, a rule that was published on January 7, 2021, known as the 2021 IC Rule, set forth “core factors” where some factors should be given additional weight over others. The 2021 IC Rule was criticized for not being supported by the DOL’s historical position and not fully aligned with the FLSA’s text.Continue Reading Navigating the labor landscape: Department of Labor announces final rule on independent contractors

Government agencies are integral to the enforcement of federal labor and employment laws and will be dramatically impacted by a government shutdown. Below is a synopsis of the impact on the main government agencies responsible for enforcing federal labor and employment laws—the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC); the Department of Labor (DOL); and the

On August 30, 2023, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) proposed a regulatory rule that would raise the minimum salary threshold for employees who are classified as “exempt” under the white collar exemptions to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by nearly 55 percent. The proposed rule would also create a new mechanism for subsequent

On August 8, 2023, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced a final rule that will change the prevailing wage rate landscape for employers on construction projects backed by federal funds (the Rule). The Rule updates regulations to the Davis-Bacon Act and related acts (the Acts) to change the way that prevailing wage rates are

The Biden administration issued new guidance immediately following his Jan. 20 inauguration abrogating former U.S. President Trump’s Executive Order 13950 on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping (the Order). Implementation of EO 13950 had previously been stayed by a preliminary nationwide injunction entered Dec. 22, 2020, in California federal court. As a result, federal contractors or organizations with a federal contract currently have no obligation to revise their diversity and equity training to omit the prohibited training topics set forth in EO 13950.

As previously discussed, EO 13950 sought to reshape the way government contractors performed diversity and equity training. It prohibited, among other things, restrictions on training about affirmative action, discussion of reparations and implicit bias, and guidance regarding limiting micro aggressions. Further, the Order mandated employer postings in the workplace as well as compliance communications with organized labor groups.Continue Reading DOL stops enforcing Executive Order 13950 on diversity training

The Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) Wage and Hour Division recently issued three new opinion letters addressing the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA’s) sales exemptions. Two letters address the outside sales exemption, and the third addresses the retail or service establishment exemption.

FLSA2020-6: Do salespeople who travel to different locations to sell their employers’ products using their employers’ mobile assets qualify for the outside sales exemption?

The first opinion letter, FLSA2020-6, addresses whether salespeople who use “stylized” trucks to travel to high-population areas and events to sell products fall within the outside sales exemption of the FLSA.

Ordinarily, a position will qualify for the exemption only if (a) the employee’s primary duty is “making sales” to or “obtaining orders or contracts for services” from customers; and (b) the employee is “customarily and regularly engaged” in performing duties “away from the employer’s place or places of business.”  29 C.F.R. sections 541.500(a), 541.501, 541.502. The exemption includes not only sales work itself, but also “work performed incidental to and in conjunction with the employee’s own outside sales or solicitations.” 29 C.F.R. section 541.500(b).

In FLSA2020-6, the DOL concluded that the employees satisfy both requirements and are therefore exempt.Continue Reading Are your sales employees exempt? DOL provides guidance in three new opinion letters

Today the Department of Labor (DOL) updated the required poster that employers subject to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (those with fewer than 500 employees) must place on their premises to satisfy their employees of the rights requirement under the Act. The update corrects the 10 weeks of paid sick leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act expansion cap amount to $10,000.

Since a vast majority of employees are now working remotely, the DOL has advised that employers may satisfy the standard notice requirement of hanging the poster in a conspicuous place on the employer’s premises (i.e., a kitchen, breakroom or other accessible area) by emailing, or directly mailing, the notice to employees, or by posting the notice on the employer’s internal or external website. Employers that are not fully remote must also post the notice. Similarly, employers who are currently all remote must remember to post the notice once in-office operations resume. 
Continue Reading DOL issues updated FFCRA notice poster

Yesterday the Department of Labor (DOL) issued the required poster that employers subject the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (those with fewer than 500 employees) must place on their premises to satisfy the employees of rights requirement under the Act.

Since a vast majority of employees are now working remotely, the DOL has advised that employers may satisfy the standard notice requirement of hanging the poster in a conspicuous place on the employer’s premises (i.e., a kitchen, breakroom or other accessible area) by emailing, or directly mailing, the notice to employees, or by posting the notice on the employer’s internal or external website. Employers that are not fully remote must also post the notice. Similarly, employers who are currently all remote must remember to post the notice once in-office operations resume.Continue Reading DOL issues FFCRA notice poster

Recently, a Texas federal judge struck down an Obama administration Department of Labor rule that doubled the salary employees must make to be considered exempt from overtime pay.  The rule’s invalidation should provide immediate relief to employers concerned about additional overtime pay, or increased salaries that the Obama administration’s overtime rule would have required.

In 2016, after years of consideration, the Obama administration issued the long-anticipated DOL rule that increased the minimum salary for exempt workers (workers exempt from receiving overtime pay) from $23,600 to just more than $47,000, and the minimum salary for workers who qualify for the “highly compensated” exemption from $100,000 to about $134,000.  Late last year, U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant issued a preliminary injunction that blocked the rule from coming into effect.  Judge Mazzant granted summary judgment in favor of certain business groups that had challenged the Obama administration’s rule.  Judge Mazzant reasoned that the significant salary increase would render the analysis of employees’ duties, functions, and tasks meaningless, and exclude from the exemption many employees who perform primarily exempt duties.
Continue Reading DOL’s Overtime Rule Invalidated