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wage and hour laws Archives

Travel bonus not deemed to be compensation

Texas employers may not be able to deduct travel bonuses from damages assessed if they violate the Fair Labor Standards Act. This was the decision reached by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia. An investigation into the pay practices of Mountain Masonry revealed that 112 workers were not paid overtime rates when they worked more than 40 hours a week.

Labor Department adopts test for internship legality

Many people in Texas have worked as interns, whether over summer vacation from school, after graduation or as way to get offered a full-time job. However, there have been significant questions about proper differentiation between interns and employees, especially when interns receive no pay or just a stipend that falls below minimum wage. There has been a change in the Department of Labor's test to assess the correct classification of interns. It now aligns with the majority of U.S. appellate courts.

DOL adds flexibility to rules governing unpaid internships

The Department of Labor has updated its guidance for unpaid internships. The new approach grants employers at for-profit companies in Texas more flexibility. Previous rules established by the department in 2010 insisted that an employer had to meet all six requirements to avoid paying minimum wage or overtime. The new test includes seven points of consideration meant to determine whether the arrangement benefits the intern's education or actually benefits the employer.

The links between sexual harassment and lower pay

Everyone in Texas faces challenges at work from time to time, but women predominantly experience sexual harassment that can reduce how much they earn. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, power disparities in the workplace could encourage harassment. Unequal pay creates a power disparity, and sexual harassment sometimes causes victims to leave potentially lucrative careers or suffer the consequences of reduced job performance.

FLSA says workers should be compensated for short breaks

A recent decision by the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals may eventually have an impact on Texas employees. The court held that employees are entitled to be paid for breaks that are 20 minutes in duration or less. The case involved a company called Progressive Business Publications that had eliminated paid 15-minute breaks for employees in favor of a flex-time program. Employees were allowed to leave their workstations for any reason at any point during the day.

Appeals court addresses issue of draw-on-commission pay

Companies in Texas that pay sales commissions should check their written policies regarding draw-on-commission pay. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit has sided with employees in a case that challenged an employer's policy that required employees to repay draws made upon future commissions if they left their jobs.

Lawsuit against GrubHub questions worker classification

Many Texas workers find themselves earning money in the gig economy. The rise of technology companies that offer services that connect customers with service providers has created controversy about the status of the people providing those services.

Tipped employees an the 80/20 rule in pay disputes

The provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act require most employers in Texas and around the country to pay their workers at least the federal minimum wage and overtime rates when they work more than 40 hours during a workweek. Workers who allege that their employers violated the law are often able to support their claims with documents such as time cards and pay stubs, but these cases can be more difficult to prove when the workers involved receive some of their compensation in the form of tips.

Account executives at Zenefits to get unpaid overtime

Many Texas workers understand that their job classification has an effect their eligibility for overtime pay. When companies violate wage laws, sometimes the U.S. Department of Labor takes action, as was the case with the insurance software company Zenefits. According to an agreement with regulators from the Wage and Hour Division, the company will pay more than 700 of its account executives and sales representatives in two states $3.4 million owed for unpaid overtime.

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