Overtime Pay Front and Center: Texas Lawyer

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Alan Bush and Lee Winkelman are freelance contributors for Texas Lawyer.  Their latest article, “Overtime Pay Front and Center,” appeared in the In-House Focus section of the April 2016 issue.

The Department of Labor, which polices the federal overtime pay laws, is looking to loosen the standard for joint employment.  Here’s what Alan and Lee had to say about it:

Some say that 2016 is the “Year of the FLSA.” That sounds about right. Overtime pay will be front and center on corporate counsel’s list of HR priorities.

The Department of Labor’s recent activity supports that suggestion. Last summer, the department issued a proposed rule on the white collar exemptions – which would more than double the salary threshold for an employee to be exempt from overtime pay. The proposed rule mandates overtime pay for 60 percent of American wage earners. The department also churned out its interpretation of who really is an independent contractor.

But now when there’s an overtime pay violation, the department wants to make sure that everyone is invited to the party. The company that cuts an employee’s paycheck is normally on the hook for his overtime pay. Any company or individual who qualifies as a “joint employer” also gets to join the party and take responsibility for the violation. In late January, the department issued its interpretation of the joint employment doctrine. The Labor Department said the doctrine uses looser criteria than the Fifth Circuit currently recognizes…

Read the full article for more.