Articles Posted in Wage and Hour Law

Large companies sometimes try to look for ways of getting around the laws that protect their employees by requiring their workers to sign contracts in which they agree to forfeit certain rights guaranteed them by law.

Flowers Foods, Inc. is one of the leading producers and marketers of packaged bakery foods in the U.S. Until recently, the company maintained a distribution model in which its distributors were classified as independent contractors.

Independent contractors are self-employed workers who run their own businesses. They are not subject to any of the protections under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), including minimum wage and overtime regulations. Because the FLSA does not extend its protections to independent contractors, it is very specific about the requirements workers must meet in order to be considered independent contractors. Continue reading ›

Kroger Co. is the largest operator of traditional supermarkets in the United States. It employs more than 422,000 workers and operates about 2,775 stores in 35 states across the country, plus the District of Columbia. The more employees a company manages the more careful it has to be to make sure it’s abiding by all the relevant labor laws.

In the United States the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) protects all employees working throughout the country. It provides a federal minimum wage, defines overtime as any time spent working after eight hours a day or forty hours a week, and requires a premium overtime compensation of one and one-half times the employee’s normal hourly rate for all overtime worked. The FLSA does allow for certain exceptions to the overtime law, but it is very specific about the types of workers that can qualify for the overtime exemption.

Under the FLSA, an employee can be considered exempt from overtime if she fits into either the administrative, executive, or professional category. Rather than simply allowing employers to label their workers as they see fit, the FLSA provides specific qualifications employees must meet in order to be legally considered exempt from overtime. Continue reading ›

Current and former California employees of Time Warner Cable LLC got a Christmas present in the form of an announcement that Time Warner has agreed to settle their wage and hour lawsuit for $1.25 million.

The class action lawsuit was filed in June 2010 and alleged the cable company failed to pay its call center employees minimum wage and overtime when they worked more than eight hours a day or forty hours a week.

California labor law sets the state minimum wage at $9 per hour, which is higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Cities also have their own wage and hour laws, so employers conducting business in the U.S. need to make sure they’re abiding by all relevant labor laws. The law with the highest minimum wage takes precedence over the others. Continue reading ›

The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) protects all employees working throughout the United States. It guarantees things like a minimum wage (which is currently set at $7.25 per hour) access to social security, and premium compensation for all overtime worked. The FLSA also defines overtime as all overtime spent working after eight hours a day or forty hours a week.

The FLSA does allow certain workers to be held exempt from these protections, but it is very specific about the qualifications workers must meet in order to be held exempt. The Act provides employees with these protections because employers generally have much more leverage than their workers, especially workers earning minimum wage. The Act therefore withholds these protections only from employees that have sufficient leverage to negotiate their own terms of work. These employees include salaried administrative assistants, executive employees, professional employees, and independent contractors. Continue reading ›

When a group of plaintiffs file a class action lawsuit, the class needs to be defined. If the judge is not comfortable with the parameters of the class as laid out by the plaintiffs, the judge can deny class certification until the plaintiffs come back with parameters the judge agrees with.

In the case of the class action lawsuit against Uber, the judge eliminated two groups of drivers from the class: those who were hired for Uber through a limo service and those who signed up to drive for Uber using corporate or fictitious names. The judge deemed the claims of these drivers to be too different from the claims of the drivers who signed up as drivers for Uber under their own names to justify allowing them to join the class. Part of the judge’s reasoning for this was that Uber was not technically the employer of these drivers – the third party Uber used to hire the drivers was the legal employer of these drivers. Continue reading ›

The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) defines overtime as any time spent working after eight hours a day or forty hours a week. For most people, that means working eight hours a day, five days a week, but employees in some industries have odd shifts and their employers need to take this into account when calculating overtime.

In industries that need to be open during weekends, such as retail and healthcare, employees often take turns working weekends, leaving them with odd weeks. It is the employers’ responsibility to accurately calculate how much time employees spend working in a given week and compensate them accordingly.

According to a recent wage and hour class action lawsuit against CVS Pharmacy, the employer allegedly failed to properly define its workweek. The lawsuit alleges this resulted in employees getting paid straight time for their sixth consecutive day of work, when they should have been paid the premium overtime compensation of one and one half times their normal hourly rate for the whole day. Continue reading ›

Pacific Sunwear of California Inc., better known as PacSun, is the most recent retailer to face a class action lawsuit alleging the employer used on-call shifts to avoid paying employees for shifts.

On-call shifts are when an employee is required to keep their schedule free in case their employer needs them to come in to work. They have to call the day of the shift to see if they have to come in to work. If they don’t have to go in to work, they don’t get paid, but chances are they’ve already lost out on other opportunities they could have taken advantage of during that time, like attending class or working another job. Continue reading ›

Anyone who has shopped at Costco has seen people spread throughout the store, particularly in the food aisles, giving out samples and demonstrating how appliances work. Although they are a very familiar sight in the giant discount retailer, Costco Wholesale Corp. does not employee these people. Instead, they are supplied by Club Demonstration Services Inc. and Warehouse Demo Services Inc. (the two companies recently merged under the name Club Demonstration Services Inc.).

Selene P. and Cindy C. filed a class action wage and hour lawsuit against their employers for allegedly violating California wage and hour laws. Continue reading ›

In the modern Digital Age, delayed gratification has become a thing of the past. Companies not only compete to provide us with the things we want, they compete to get them to us faster. Amazon Prime Now is a service the online retailer offers in which certain items are available for delivery within an hour or two after the customer places the order, but such immediacy comes with a cost.

Amazon partnered with Scoobeez, a courier company, to find drivers to deliver Amazon Prime Now goods. The delivery drivers were classified as independent contractors, but a recent wage and hour class action lawsuit alleges they did not meet the qualifications for that classification. Continue reading ›

When a large class action lawsuit is filed, it is often in the best interests of both parties to settle the lawsuit outside of court. Lawsuits can drag on in the courts for years and the larger the lawsuit, the longer the trial is likely to take. The result can turn out to be extremely expensive for both sides.

Defendants often choose to settle class action lawsuits because that allows them to avoid the hassle and expense of fighting a lengthy legal battle in court. You can never predict with 100% accuracy how a jury will rule, so by settling the dispute before it gets to a jury, defendants can avoid a lose, which could seriously damage their business. Settlement also helps the plaintiffs avoid the risk of a loss and collecting no damages and getting no relief from practices that they believe are illegal.  Continue reading ›

Contact Information