Class Action Certified in Hungry Howie’s Pizza Delivery Driver Lawsuit

Pizza Drivers claim franchises take an illegal  slice out of every driver’s pay

Under-reimbursement of pizza delivery drivers violates state and federal minimum wage laws – that’s the allegation in a Blanchard & Walker PLLC case recently certified for class action status in the Eastern District of Michigan (read the order here).  [Read more…]

New Rules for FLSA Overtime Exemptions

JNew Rules for FLSA Overtime Exemptions oin attorney David Blanchard next Monday October 10, 2016 (12-1:30 PM) for  an Overtime Compliance Panel Focusing on the New Salary Level Rule.  We still have some spaces left but it is filling up quick.  RSVP to Kelley at lindquistk@ewashtenaw.org or 734-994-4912 by 4 p.m. on Friday, October 7th

 

The panel discussion and Q &A session following will focus on the Department of Labor’s new salary level increase for overtime exempt employees.   [Read more…]

Fighting for Independent Contractors

Clocking ovvertime

Clocking overtime for independent contractors.

Blanchard & Walker lawyers have been fighting for over a decade to secure the rights of cable technicians and other laborers who have been deprived of overtime pay by the use of “independent contractor” labels.  Still, we are amazed by the depth of the problem and astonished to hear how extreme and widespread the abuse of “independent contractor” classifications has become.   Writing for Slate, author Virginia Sole-Smith has done an excellent job to document the scope and extent of predatory misclassification of employees.  Thank you to Virginia for explaining the human toll behind these practices.

http://www.slate.com/articles/business/the_grind/2016/04/more_cable_and_internet_installers_are_independent_contractors_and_the_hours.html

With one swift re-classification, the otherwise “employers” are able to reduce costs related to unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation, and even avoid obligations to pay overtime. Or so some would assume. In fact, the protections of the FLSA are not dependent on the company’s discretion in picking job titles. Persons designated as “independent contractors” and other workers wrongly deprived of overtime pay have a legal right to recover the wages stolen through illegal misclassifications by their employers. [Read more…]

Sixth Circuit Trend Shows Preference For Jury – and not Judge – to Decide FLSA Overtime Claims

Blanchard sixth circuit

By: David Blanchard, Blanchard & Walker PLLC, Ann Arbor, MI

The Sixth Circuit federal appeals court has spoken, and “independent contractors” or other workers who may be deprived of overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) should be pleased to hear the news. A recent trend of decisions in the federal appeals court for the Sixth Circuit (covering Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee) affirms a clear right to jury trial, and against judicial rulings to dismiss, to decide overtime compensation claims. Under the FLSA, non-exempt employees are entitled to overtime pay at “time and a half” for all hours worked in a week.[i] The FLSA overtime law applies regardless of contract provisions or other agreements the employer has tried to impose (including “independent contractor” labels the employer might insist upon as a condition of employment). Recent published cases in the Sixth Circuit lend encouragement for workers seeking overtime pay and a note of caution for trial judges who may be inclined to issue summary dismissals. [Read more…]

FLSA Employees vs. Independent Contractors under DOL Administrative Interpretation AI 2015-1

Blanchard FLSAThe Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has been the law of the land since it was first ushered through congress by President Franklin Roosevelt almost eighty years ago.  The FLSA promised a fair day’s pay for a day’s work, and required overtime pay at time and a half for working more than forty hours a week.  Yet for the last two decades, federal courts have struggled with the scope of the FLSA protections as the “outsourced” labor model has become more prevalent in the domestic economy.  In the fractured labor market -as it has been called – companies have increasingly used workers defined as “independent contractors” to perform their core business functions.   With one swift re-classification, the otherwise “employers” are able to reduce and avoid costs related to unemployment insurance, workers compensation, and even avoid obligations to pay overtime… or so some would assume. The protections of the FLSA are not dependent on the company’s discretion.   So-called ‘independent contractors’ and other workers deprived of overtime pay have a legal right to recover the wages stolen through illegal misclassifications by their employers. [Read more…]