John E. Thompson

John Thompson is a partner in the Atlanta office of the law firm Fisher & Phillips. His practice focuses on wage and hour law, assisting employers in preventive efforts designed to ensure compliance, and he handles both investigations conducted by government agencies and litigation in the wage and hour area. John has served as a Special Assistant Attorney General for wage-hour matters for the State of Georgia. Contact him at jthompson@laborlawyers.com.

Articles by John E. Thompson

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Push to Require “Predictable Scheduling” Is Gaining Momentum

Schedule

By John E. Thompson

In February, we reported on U.S. Wage and Hour Division Administrator David Weil‘s comments that the agency is considering whether the federal Fair Labor Standards Act somehow entitles employees to “predictable scheduling.”

His remarks related to whether there is an enforceable right to a stable work schedule and to advance notice of that schedule.

Perhaps not surprisingly, it turns out that his remarks were a harbinger of apparently coordinated efforts to press for legally mandated scheduling requirements. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Labor Dept. Says Again: No More Opinions For Employers on the FLSA

Labor Department DOL

By John E. Thompson

From the federal Fair Labor Standards Act‘s inception in 1938, employers sought, and officials of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division provided, official written explanations of how that law works in particular situations.

These “opinion letters” served as an important means by which the public could develop a clearer understanding of what FLSA compliance entailed.

The then-over-70-year practice of issuing opinions ended in March 2010. Now, in a presentation to the American Bar Association, current Wage and Hour Administrator David Weil has said that the Division will not resume the issuance of opinion letters. Read more…

Compensation, Legal Issues

FLSA Changes Could Make Many Retail Managers Non-Exempt Employees

flsa

By John E. Thompson

Expectations are that the U.S. Labor Department’s proposed regulations re-defining the federal Fair Labor Standards Act‘s executive, administrative, professional, outside-sales, and derivative exemptions will be released in the next few weeks, if not within days.

As we have said, these provisions will probably include:

  • A substantial increase in the minimum salary amount; and,
  • A significant narrowing of the duties-related requirements. Read more…
Compensation, Legal Issues

More Erroneous Nonsense on Tipped Wages, Courtesy of the Labor Dept.

minimum wage

By John E. Thompson

A recent post appearing on the U.S. Department of Labor’s blog begins, “The federal tipped minimum wage has been $2.13/hour since 1991. That’s right – it’s been the same for nearly a quarter century.

Actually, that’s wrong.

As we explained previously, there is no such thing as a purportedly lower “tipped minimum wage.” The federal Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimum wage for tipped employees is precisely the same as for all other non-exempt, non-tipped workers: $7.25 an hour at present. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Do Employees Have a Legal “Right” to a “Predictable” Schedule?

© aleutie - Fotolia

By John E. Thompson

U.S. Wage and Hour Division Administrator David Weil reportedly has said that the Division is “looking very actively at” the question of whether workers should be legally entitled to “predictable scheduling.”

In recounting Weil’s statements in a recent interview, the Daily Labor Report characterized his remarks as having to do with whether an employee has an enforceable right to a predictable, stable work schedule or to some sort of advance notice of that schedule. Read more…

Best of TLNT

Proposed Minimum Wage Regulations for Federal Contractors Released

obama jobless

Editor’s NoteIt’s a TLNT holiday tradition to count down the most popular posts of the year. This is No. 3. Our regular content will return on Monday.

By John E. Thompson

The U.S. Department of Labor has released its proposed regulations implementing Executive Order 13658, President Obama’s directive to raise the minimum-wage rate for workers on federal contracts from $7.25 per hour to $10.10 per hour (subject to annual increases after 2015).

We wrote about this initiative earlier in the year; we will not repeat those discussions here. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Possible Impact of Obama’s Immigration Initiative: More FLSA Claims

Obama

By John E. Thompson

Lurking among the numerous considerations raised by President Obama’s “immigration accountability” initiative are the prospects that this action will result in more allegations by or on behalf of the affected individuals that they have not been paid in compliance with the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.

This could come in the form of lawsuits or administrative complaints by the workers themselves, or through enforcement measures by the U.S. Department of Labor in collaboration with other federal agencies and even with foreign governments. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Court: Screening Workers Going Home Doesn’t Count as Work Time

© chasingmoments - Fotolia.com

By John E. Thompson

The U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday found that the time non-exempt employees spent in connection with an end-of-workday security screening before leaving the premises did not count as worktime under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.

Instead, it said, the time so spent was non-compensable “postliminary” activity under the federal Portal-to-Portal Act.

Among other things, the Supreme Court said that: Read more…

Compensation, HR News & Trends

Voter Actions Undercut Federal Push for $10.10 Minimum Wage

minimum wage

By John E. Thompson

Earlier this month, several states and localities voted in favor of increasing their minimum wage.

Right on cue, many (including U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez) seized upon these results as ostensibly supporting an increase in the federal Fair Labor Standards Act‘s rate to $10.10 per hour.

On the contrary, the developments emphasize that no such nationwide action is either wise or warranted. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Unpaid Intern Group Certified by Court For Collective Action

Intern

By John E. Thompson

After more than a year of litigation (the filing which we reported here), former unpaid Gawker Media interns will be permitted to send notices to other unpaid or allegedly underpaid interns to inform those potential plaintiffs of the lawsuit and of the opportunity to join the proceedings.

The judge did not rule that the former interns’ claims under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act are valid. Instead, she decided that the evidence presented to date suggests that other potential plaintiffs are “similarly situated” for FLSA collective-action purposes. Read more…