On October 3, 2017, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill 306, dramatically limiting an employer’s right to defend itself against allegations that it retaliated against an employee for making wage claims.  In short, the law makes it far easier for employees and the California Labor Commissioner to obtain injunctive relief in

On September 21, 2017, a federal district judge rejected a $19.1 Million proposed deal to end a nationwide wage-hour class action against the TGI Friday’s restaurant chain.  In Zorrilla v. Carlson Restaurants Inc., 14-cv-2740 (SDNY), a class of nearly 29,000 tipped workers in nine states alleged violations of the FLSA and state wage-hour laws, including that the restaurant improperly took a tip credit, required an unlawful tip pool, and failed to pay spread-of-hours and uniform-related expenses.  After more than four years of litigation, the parties reached perhaps the largest wage-hour settlement for the restaurant industry and sought court approval as required under the FLSA.

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On August 31, a Texas federal court struck down the Obama-era Department of Labor rule that significantly increased the salary threshold for the white collar exemptions to overtime pay. The court temporarily enjoined the rule in November 2016, and this latest ruling makes that decision final (save for an unlikely appeal).

The court ruled that

Overtime claims continue to dominate class action filings and cause significant exposure for companies in all industries.  In July alone, plaintiffs filed more than 200 class action complaints alleging overtime violations in federal courts across the country (not counting the number also filed in state court).  And because courts calculate back wages at time-and-a-half the regular rate, plus liquidated damages and other penalties, overtime mistakes can cause significant damage to a company’s bottom line.

This post kicks off a series for Steptoe’s Labor & Employment blog on the top five overtime pay violations alleged in class action complaints. The first in the series focuses on one of the most common (and most expensive) kinds of overtime blunders: misclassification of employees as exempt.


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Today, the Ninth Circuit in Mendoza v. Nordstrom, No. 12-57144, affirmed dismissal of the plaintiffs’ California Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) claims.  The plaintiffs sought to recover from the luxury retailer on behalf of themselves and other employees for violations of California’s day-of-rest rules, Cal. Labor Code §§ 551 and 552.  The court rejected the plaintiffs’ arguments that it should remand the case to permit them to name a new PAGA class representative after their underlying claims failed, reasoning that nothing prevented a proper plaintiff from filing a new suit.

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The Department of Labor posted its anticipated Request for Information on the 2016 overtime rule.  In its post, the DOL stated that it will publish the RFI in the Federal Register tomorrow, July 26. The RFI represents a preliminary step in the rulemaking process to revise the federal overtime rules set by the Obama administration.

As many people hit the road this summer for vacations and family trips, one recently filed class action serves as a reminder that certain driving activities qualify as compensable time under federal and state wage laws.

In Smith v. Allegheny Technologies, Inc., No. 2:17-cv-00911-RCM (W.D. Pa. filed 7/10/17), a metal manufacturer hired temporary replacement