Published: November 19, 2018

On November 8, 2018, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued an Opinion Letter eliminating the “80/20” rule for tipped employees.  Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers may pay tipped employees reduced wages and claim a tip credit to make up the difference between the reduced cash wage and the federal minimum wage. See 29 U.S.C. § 203.  An employee is “tipped” when he or she is “engaged in an occupation in which he customarily and regularly receives more than $30 a month in tips.” Id. 

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Published: September 20, 2018

On Sept. 18, 2018, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in an en banc ruling, reversed the district courts' dismissals of various actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") concerning tip credits and wages for servers and bartenders. See Marsh v. J. Alexander's LLC, No. 15-15791 (9th Cir. Sept. 18, 2018).

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Published: April 18, 2018

The Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor issued three opinion letters on April 12, 2018, on the topics of compensation for health-related breaks under the Fair Labor Standards Act, compensation for travel time for hourly workers under the FLSA, and what types of lump-sum payments can be garnished under the Consumer Credit Protection Act. Opinion letters give the WHD the opportunity to provide guidance on specific questions received from the business community.

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Published: October 31, 2017

On October 30, 2017, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) alerted Texas U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant that it planned to challenge his August 31, 2017 order invalidating the Obama administration’s controversial 2016 overtime rule. The rule would have significantly expanded the number of executive, administrative and professional (“EAP”) workers eligible for overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) by doubling the minimum salary required to qualify for overtime exemption from $23,660, to roughly $47,000 annually.

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Published: August 31, 2017

In a long awaited decision, a Texas federal judge struck down the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) overtime rule finding that the Department of Labor (“DOL”) exceeded its delegated authority. The rule, which was blocked by injunction in November 2016, was set to raise the white collar exemption minimum salary requirement from $23,660 per year to $47,476 per year effective December 1, 2016.
 

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Published: June 12, 2017

Signaling a clear departure from Obama-era enforcement priorities, the Trump Administration announced on June 7, 2017 that it has withdrawn two Department of Labor guidance documents on worker classification and joint employer status. The worker classification Administrator Interpretation Letter (“AIL”) issued in 2015, strongly favored employee classification over independent contractor classification and took the position that almost all workers would be viewed as employees by the Department of Labor.

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Published: January 23, 2017

On January 19, the National Restaurant Association (“the Association”) asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review a Department of Labor (“DOL”) rule that prohibits “tip pools,” the sharing of tips among “front of the house” staff (i.e., servers and bartenders) and “back of the house” staff (i.e., cooks and dishwashers).

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