Wage & Hour

The Department of Labor is scrutinizing wage and hour practices to make them a better fit with our service-based economy.  Meanwhile, state agencies and plaintiff’s attorneys have continued to exploit 1950s-era wage and hour regulations to target employers large and small.  This has led to a rise in wage and hour litigation and proposed rules that could entitle five million white-collar workers to overtime protection.
 

Key Contacts

Matthew M. Durham Partner Salt Lake City, UT
Amy Joseph Pedersen, SPHR Partner Portland, OR
James C. Dale Partner Boise, ID
See all contacts
Overview

Virtually every business with employees is concerned about running afoul of wage and hour laws as the federal government steps up investigations and enforcement resources. The cost of non-compliance can hit your bottom line and image, but there also are costs for being too conservative and unnecessarily inflating your compensation expenses. 

Counseling & Compliance

Human resources departments and front line managers need proactive guidance to align pay practices with federal and state law—with special attention if you have employees or contractors in California. Moreover, many municipalities have started creating their own set of wage and hour regulations.  The landmines are improper interpretation of exempt classification rules, and application of minimum wage, prevailing wage, overtime pay and breaks and accuracy in calculating and tracking pay for time worked. Your policies, pay practices, job descriptions, records and decisions are subject to investigation and should be audited and reviewed before regulators knock on the door.

We get in front of these concerns, ensuring your compensation and management practices meet the standards of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), similar state and local laws, and Davis Bacon, Walsh-Healey, McNamara-O’Hara and other wage and hour laws and regulations.  We’ve helped businesses with small numbers of employees or workforces thousands strong located in multiple states. We have deep experience counseling employers in California and are current on the special nature of employment law there. 

Our Services

  • Exempt/non-exempt classification decisions
  • Classification of independent contractors
  • Pay practices regarding meals, rest breaks, off-the-clock time
  • Minimum wage payment requirements
  • Proper calculation of pay rates
  • Overtime wages and exemptions
  • Salesforce wage requirements
  • Prevailing wage and other public contracting requirements
  • Pay practices for employees who receive tips
  • Multistate employer counsel 

Defense Against Individual or Class Action Claims

As enforcement of wage and hour law intensifies, individual and group claims against employers are becoming more prevalent. Our litigators will aggressively assert your position in a wage and hour suit and bring to bear abundant experience representing clients with workers who are local, national or global, as well as unionized, working remotely or traveling constantly. You’ll be in constant communication with our team as, together, we set the strategy, establish the team and launch a defense aligned with your objectives. At the same time, we’ll help you ensure that any issues that led to the dispute are examined so lessons learned can be applied to practice and policy improvements. 

California Wage & Hour Law

California sets its own standards for many pay issues, including minimum wage, exempt classification, independent contractor practices, travel time and pay practices for breaks. As a firm with offices in California, we routinely advise employers with operations there on California employment regulations. We keep abreast of the economic, social and political environment so we can advise and prepare you ahead of changing laws.

 


Matters
  • Represented a local restaurant chain in a wage and hour class and collective action and retaliation case that settled favorably pre-class certification.
  • Represented a renewable energy producer in a wage and hour class action and successfully defeated the motion for summary judgment.
  • Represented a public utility in defense of a class action claim for unpaid compensation for commuting to and from work in employer-provided vehicles; claim was settled successfully.
  • Represented a cherry producer in connection with a Department of Labor (DOL) audit that included several potential FLSA and Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act violations; negotiations with the DOL resulted in the citation of a single minor violation and no penalties.
  • Represented a health care system in defense of a class action claim for unpaid rest and meal breaks; the claim resolved before certification of the class.
  • Represented a multistate senior living company in a nationwide wage and hour class and collective action and FLSA retaliation case that settled favorably pre-class certification.
  • Represented a hospital in a claim over the proper rate of pay for missed rest breaks; successfully turned back claims for massive overtime back pay.
  • Represented a multinational fast food chain in a local wage and hour class action suit concerning missed rest and meal breaks; the suit settled favorably before discovery and prior to class certification.
  • Represented an Alaskan grocery retailer in a wage and hour class action case that resulted in a reduced class size and a favorable settlement.
  • Represented an Idaho call center in wage and hour class action alleging off-the-clock work; action resolved following motion to compel individual arbitrations.
Team
Insights & Presentations
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