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.
Featured on Employment Law This Week: The Ninth Circuit held that certain auto service advisors were not exempt because their position is not specifically listed in the FLSA auto dealership exemption.
The 9th relied on the principle that such exemptions should be interpreted narrowly. In a 5-4 decision last week, the Supreme Court found no “textual indication” in the FLSA for narrow construction. Applying a “fair interpretation” standard instead, the Court ruled that the exemption applies to service advisors because of the nature of the work.
Watch the segment below ...
For more than 70 years, the Supreme Court has construed exemptions to the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) narrowly. In A.H. Phillips, Inc. v. Walling, for example, the Court stated that “[t]o extend an exemption to other than those plainly and unmistakably within its terms and spirit is to abuse the interpretative process and to frustrate the announced will of the people.” 324 U.S. 490, 493 (1945). The Supreme Court has restated this rule many times in the intervening years, and the lower courts have followed, citing this principle in virtually every significant case ...
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