This past Wednesday, June 6, 2017, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued a press release announcing the withdrawal of its 2015 and 2016 guidance, formally called "Administrator's Interpretation" (AI), concerning independent contractors and joint employment.
In our blog entry dated November 23, 2016, Coolidge Wall announced that a federal judge in Texas had issued an injunction halting the Department of Labor's new wage and hour regulations from being implemented on December 1, 2016, as anticipated. These amended regulations purported to increase the threshold salary requirement for most exempt positions from $455 to $913 per week, which would have impacted more than an estimated four million workers throughout the country. Many employers were poised to implement changes in compliance with the amendments, and others had already implemented such changes in advance of the effective date.
In a somewhat surprising and certainly controversial move, a federal court in Texas has issued a preliminary injunction stopping for the time being the DOL's overtime rules from taking effect on December 1, 2016, as originally contemplated. Moreover, the court's order applies to all employers on a nationwide basis.
On March 9, 2015, the United States Supreme Court issued a significant decision impacting employers who are concerned with whether or not their workers can be classified as exempt employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The decision in Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Assn. confirmed that the DOL had the ability to interpret its rules to determine that mortgage lenders were non-exempt employees. As such, mortgage lenders need to be paid overtime for every hour worked over forty per week.
I love when a movie comes out that makes me smarter, even without watching it. A good example is The Black Swan. I had never heard of such a thing and had no idea what it symbolized before Fox bombed the airwaves with commercials featuring dark, elegant-looking shots of Natalie Portman in ominous poses. Intrigued, I looked up the metaphorical use of a black swan in literature and film. I learned that a black swan represents an event that surprises the observer, has a major effect on the observer and others, which is usually negative, but is often inappropriately rationalized in hindsight.