Employment Attorney Blog

The Most Important Thing You Can Do Today: Call The Right Attorney

Recent Sixth Circuit Court Of Appeals Case Holds That Primary Duty Determination For FLSA Administrative Exemption Is A Question Of Fact For The Jury.  A recent decision by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals could prove helpful to employees suing their former or current employers for unpaid overtime compensation pay. In Henry v. Quicken Loans, Inc., the Court weighed in on the question of whether several plaintiff employees fell under the Administrative exemption contained within the Fair Labor Standards Act, thus making them exempt from the protection of Federal overtime compensation laws. Although the Court did not disturb the jury’s verdict against the plaintiff employees, not to be lost in the decision is the Court’s holding that the Primary Duty determination is a question of

Read More

For many American voters this November, one of the most divisive issues will be same-sex marriage. Ten years ago, the average voter would have thought legalizing same-sex marriage was practically impossible. In recent years, however, the shift in public opinion towards recognizing same-sex marriage and other similar rights for homosexuals is evident.  Yet, under federal law – and the laws in most U.S. states – it is still legal for an employer to discriminate or retaliate against an employee on the basis of his or her sexual orientation. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, sexual orientation is not a protected class, so individuals do not have a cause of action for discrimination based on sexual orientation. See Gilbert v. Country Music Ass’n, Inc. Similarly, in

Read More

As an employment law attorney, I often ask new clients if they were paid overtime by their former or current employer. Not surprisingly, I often get the same response over and again, “No, but I was a salaried employee.” Luckily, for some of these former and current employees, Federal and Ohio law is not that simple. In fact, under both the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Ohio Minimum Fair Wage Standards Act, it is not enough for the employer to show that the employee was a salaried employee in order to close the door on that employee’s claim for overtime compensation. Rather, the employer, in addition to showing that the employee was salaried, must also show that the employee falls into one or more of the specific exemptions listed and described in the Fair Labor Standard Act.

Read More

We just got in this question, and while each situation is different, the quick answer is a resounding maybe.  Our team of lawyers has experience fighting not only employment but also privacy issues, which gives us a very unique perspective. Who owns the iPhone, Blackberry or laptop? Has the employer set policies and expectations? Employers are legally allowed to set policies that prohibit or limit personal use of company computers, and monitor the extent of employees' personal computer use.  Employers can discipline employees whose use violates company policy. In City of Ontario, Cal. v. Quon, 130 S.Ct. 2619 (U.S. June 17, 2010), the United States Supreme Court held that a city police department's search of an employee 's text messages was reasonable, and did not violate the

Read More

Wage and hour issues are tricky. Simply because an employer calls you salaried employee or an independent contractor, does mean the name truly hold any legal weight.  And, now we have a great extreme example of misclassification of employment to avoid wage laws. In Thompson v. House, Inc., the federal court for the District of Columbia held that the strip club controlled the activities of the dancing girls to such an extent that an employment relationship was created, and thus, rejecting the argument that they were independent contractors.  The factors that the court used to show control over the strippers:  They were paid by the hour had set schedules; they had to be on-stage for thirty-minute periods; work rules that disallowed swearing, fighting, biting, scratching, doing drugs or

Read More

In North Carolina, a Mexican Restaurant Andrews is being required to pay $245,500 in back wages to 12 employees after an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division found that the business failed to pay them minimum wage and overtime compensation as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act.   A U.S. Department of Labor news release stated, "The Labor Department is working hard to ensure that employees are properly paid for the hours they work according to the law." It went on to say that "We will not allow companies to profit by not paying their workers, and ignoring FLSA rules on minimum wage and overtime compensation."   Investigators determined that, for the hours they worked, wait staff received only customer tips, and that the employer

Read More