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Managing the Modern Workplace
V&E International Labor & Employment Resources

Traveling Overseas for Work – Paid or Unpaid?

I recently traveled to Norway for business. On my long flight home, I began considering to what extent my travel time would be compensable time under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) (assuming I were a non-exempt employee, of course). This thought was not totally out of left field, as the Norwegian Supreme Court recently ruled that travel time for a police officer is working time for the purposes of Norwegian pay and overtime laws. This Norwegian decision prompted me to think about what the FLSA — which was enacted when international air travel was rare — says on the topic of international travel time?

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Moving to Texas — Signed, the California Gig Economy

In Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County, the California Supreme Court joined a handful of other states, including Massachusetts, in adopting the “ABC test” to determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor. The reach of Dynamex is currently cabined to state wage orders, which regulate certain terms of employment, such as state minimum wage, overtime, and meal and rest breaks. The ABC test is a stark departure from the common-law test focused primarily on the degree of control a hiring entity exercised, or had the right to exercise, over an individual — which is the test that still applies, for now, to claims arising under the California Labor Code and other statutes. Recall our earlier post on the Grubhub decision, in which we outlined various factors companies might consider under the common-law test when classifying workers as independent contractors or employees.

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DOJ Settles Enforcement Action Targeting “No Poach” Agreements

In our February post discussing this issue, we predicted that federal criminal antitrust prosecutions of no-poaching and no-hire agreements were on the near horizon due to the U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division’s (“DOJ”) October 2016 guidance alerting companies and HR professionals to beware of the antitrust risk involved in hiring and compensation decisions. Making good on these warnings, the DOJ recently announced a settlement with two of the world’s largest rail equipment suppliers (Germany-based Knorr-Bremse AG (“Knorr”) and Delaware corporation Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corporation (“Wabtec”)) to resolve allegations that the companies maintained long-standing agreements not to compete for employees.

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  • 10
  • May
  • 2018

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Frequent 15-Minute Breaks Under FMLA Are Non-Compensable

While a small number of states require employers to give non-exempt employees breaks, there is no such requirement under federal law. However, if an employer decides to allow employees to take short rest breaks, they must compensate them during the time. (Employers do not have to compensate employees for longer meal breaks so long as the employees are completely relieved from duty).

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  • 24
  • April
  • 2018

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DOL Clarifies Travel Time Regulations

One of the more complicated issues for payroll managers is determining when they must pay a non-exempt employee for their travel time. The rules for single day trips have always been fairly simple; most travel time (except ordinary home-to-work travel) is usually compensable, except for travel from an employee’s home to the airport, in which case, the clock starts when the employee arrives at the airport and stops when the employee returns to the airport in their home city. If the employee’s flight is delayed, the time is compensable.

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  • 17
  • April
  • 2018

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Why Employers Should be Concerned About Equal Pay

Consider this common scenario: You have interviewed multiple candidates for a management position in your company. Everyone agrees that the only female candidate who applied for the position is clearly the best candidate. You meet with her again and ask her what kind of salary it would take to persuade her to come to work for your company. She voluntarily discloses that she is currently making $80,000 and would like to earn $90,000. You would have been willing to offer her a salary of $110,000 because that is what you recently agreed to pay a similarly qualified male candidate, but you offer her $100,000 instead, thinking that you are already exceeding her expectations. She happily accepts.

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Contributors

Thomas H. Wilson

Thomas H. Wilson Partner

Christopher V. Bacon

Christopher V. Bacon Counsel

Sean Becker

Sean Becker Partner

Stephen M. Jacobson

Stephen M. Jacobson Partner

Martin C. Luff

Martin Luff Counsel

Lawrence S. Elbaum Partner

S. Grace Ho

S. Grace Ho Counsel

Robert Sheppard

Robert Sheppard Associate