As we reported earlier this week, on February 22, 2023, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Helix Energy Solutions Group, Inc. v. Hewitt, finding that a daily-rate worker who earned over $200,000 annually was not exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA or Act) overtime requirements. The Court reasoned that, although the employee’s compensation exceeded the amount required under 29 C.F.R. § 541.601’s highly compensated employee (HCE) exemption, and he customarily and regularly performed at least one exempt duty (there, the “executive” duty of supervising a crew of workers), his employer did not pay him on a “salary basis” because he did not “receive a fixed amount for a week no matter how many days he … worked.”
Practically, Helix’s holding is unlikely to have broad consequences. Most employers pay employees who earn enough to qualify as an HCE (currently, $107,432 annually) and perform at least one exempt administrative, executive, or professional duty a predetermined salary. But employers who have classified non-salaried high earners as exempt HCEs will acutely feel its effects.
Most employers are well aware that employees must be paid on a “salary basis” to be considered exempt from the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). This means employees must receive the same amount of pay each week regardless of the amount or quality of work they perform for a given week. Accordingly, exempt employees must be paid their full weekly salary for any week in which they perform work, whether or not the employee has actually worked a full work week. See 29 C.F.R. § 541.602(a)(1).
One issue that may fly under the radar, however, is which ...
On March 14, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (“WHD”) released two opinion letters concerning the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). One letter addresses the interplay between New York State’s overtime exemption for residential janitors (colloquially referred to as apartment “supers”) and the FLSA, which does not exempt such employees, and the other addresses whether time spent participating in an employer’s optional volunteer program constitutes “hours worked” requiring compensation under the FLSA.
While these opinion ...
There has been a lack of clarity in California wage and hour law on how compensation must be structured to meet the “salary basis test,” particularly where an exempt employee is paid based on hours worked. However, in Negri v. Koning & Associates, the California Court of Appeal addressed this very issue and concluded that a compensation scheme based solely upon the number of hours worked, with no guaranteed minimum, is not considered a “salary” for the purpose of state overtime laws.
Under California law, an employee exempt from overtime laws must ...
By: Michael Thompson
In Ibanez v. Abbott Laboratories, Inc., the Eastern District of Pennsylvania issued the latest ruling in the ongoing dispute over whether pharmaceutical sales representatives are exempt from the overtime requirements of the FLSA.
The plaintiff in Ibanez was a former sales representative for Abbott. Among other things, the plaintiff helped create “business plans which tracked doctors by market share and potential.” The plaintiff also developed “game plan[s] or strateg[ies] for individual calls with physicians.” Thus, the District Court ruled ...
On November 16, 2011, the New Jersey Appellate Division held that registered nurses are exempt from overtime compensation under the New Jersey Wage and Hour Law (“NJWHL”), N.J.S.A. 34:11-56a1 to 56a30, even if paid on an hourly basis, because they fall within the “professional” exemption. Anderson v. Phoenix Health Care, Inc., A-2607-10T2 (N.J. App. Div. Nov. 16, 2011). The Court further held that, even if registered nurses were not exempt, a claim for overtime compensation may nevertheless fail under the NJWHL’s good faith exception, N.J.S.A.
The following is a reprint of a client alert authored by EBG attorneys Doug Weiner and Frank Morris, Jr. It should be of interest to all Florida employers that are considering a reduction in force.
For many employers, these are desperate economic times. Every entity facing diminished revenue must consider cost cuts to survive. As news reports show, reductions in force (RIFs) are being used daily to achieve cost savings, and for some employers they may be the best solution. In some cases, however, the savings are not immediate as a result of statutorily required or voluntary notice ...
The U.S. Department of Labor's Wage & Hour Division has issued two new opinion letters addressing circumstances under which employers may not reduce the hours of exempt employees without running afoul of the "salary basis" test and risking loss of the employees' exempt status.
First, some background. Employees exempt from the FLSA's minimum wage and overtime requirements as professional, executive, or administrative employees must be paid a salary of at least $455 per week. Under 29 C.F.R. § 541.602(a),
[a]n employee will be considered to be paid on a "salary basis" ...
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