wage and hour laws Archives

New overtime rule would make more people eligible

The Department of Labor has proposed a rule that would make a large number of people in the Houston area and across Texas available for overtime pay. The rule is still subject to a comment period of 60 days, but it would change the salary cap for non-management overtime eligibility nationwide beginning in 2020. The salary cap would be raised to $35,308 from $23,660. On a weekly basis, the cap would be raised to $679 from $455.

New overtime rule may be released

Workers in the Houston area may be under new guidelines regarding overtime in the future, but it is unclear how long the process will take. In May 2016, an overtime rule issued by the Department of Labor raised the minimum salary allowing so-called "white-collar" exemptions to overtime to $47,476 from $23,660. The "highly compensated" exemption level went to $134,004 from $100,000. Furthermore, every three years, there were supposed to be automatic increases.

Employees might need court orders to collect back pay

Most employers in Texas make a good faith attempt to pay their workers correctly, but abuses do occur. Sometimes, employers fail to pay people what they are owed by ignoring overtime laws, miscalculating wages or applying the wrong wages. When these issues happen, employees might need to seek a court order to force employers to comply.

Court rules about overtime pay for on-call shifts

Some employees in the Houston area who work on-call hours may be entitled to overtime pay they are not getting. A nurse in Ohio filed a claim against her workplace where she was required to be on call on alternating weekends. The hospital paid her regular rate.

Overtime rule overhaul delayed until March 2019

The United States Department of Labor is contemplating a change that could affect overtime laws for workers in Texas. The Fair Labor Standards Act has set a threshold salary below which workers must be paid overtime for working more than 40 hours in a week. The DOL intends to raise the threshold amount but has pushed back the change until March 2019.

Equal Pay Day highlights continuing gender pay gap

The Equal Pay Act became law in Texas and across the country on June 10, 1963. It mandates that women receive the same pay as men for the same work, but the pay gap continues and varies based on race as well. On average, women earn 80 cents for every dollar their male counterparts earn according to data published by equalpaytoday.org. For the year 2018, Equal Pay Day was April 10. That's the day a woman had to work through to earn the money a man earned in 2017.

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.

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Warren & Siurek, L.L.P.
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Houston, TX 77098

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