Society has changed by leaps and bounds over the last few decades. Television sets now require the use of remote controls, many meals can be cooked using only a microwave and work can be completed at any time of day using a tiny, handheld device called a smartphone.
The U.S. Labor Department recently ordered Wal-Mart to pay nearly $4.8 million in back wages to approximately 4,500 workers who failed to receive overtime from 2004 to 2007. For the three years in question, Wal-Mart failed to pay its vision center managers and asset protection coordinators overtime because it considered them exempt from federal regulations requiring overtime pay.
According to the New York Times, the Office of Management and Budget recently agreed to look over a proposal made by the Department of Labor to change companionship exemption. Companionship exemption is a term referring to a provision in the Fair Labor Standards Act which specifies that employees in the home health care industry providing "companionship services" need not be paid minimum wage or overtime for their work.
A recent agreement between the Labor Department, the Internal Revenue Service, and around a dozen states will assist federal authorities in targeting businesses that improperly classify workers as independent contractors or non-employees in order to avoid paying workers minimum wage and overtime pay. The practice of misclassification of employees often leads to what has been called "wage theft."
Two former interns who worked for Fox Searchlight Pictures on the film "Black Swan" have filed a federal class action suit claiming the company violated labor laws by hiring unpaid interns. They and other unpaid interns are seeking unpaid overtime and wages. According to the plaintiffs, Fox Searchlight Pictures hires the unpaid interns in order to reduce costs.
Hundreds of sales representatives at Groupon, owner of the website which offers discounted gift certificates for use at local and national companies, have filed a lawsuit against the company alleging that it filed to pay overtime to its employees.
The Kentucky Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that multiple cities across Kentucky owe firefighters million of dollars in unpaid overtime. The ruling has caused concern among mayors and county executives, many of whom are worried about how they will find the funds to pay overtime to firefighters according to revised state guidelines.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that an exotic dancer is suing her former boss for failure to pay her overtime and unfairly reducing her wages. The dancer reported worked at Heavenly Bodies in Elk Grove Village, Skybox in Harvey and Cowboys in Markham.
A while back on this blog, we wrote about a federal lawsuit filed against Creekstone Farms slaughterhouse in Arkansas City, Kansas. Employees had filed that suit in order to recover unpaid overtime and wages. As we noted in that post, the employees' claimed that the company routinely paid hourly employees based on the principle of "gang time," which is the amount of time the workers are assigned to the production lines. In that approach, employees were not paid according to the actual time they put in.
According to Businessweek, a Texas company accused by the U.S. Department of Labor of failing to abide by minimum wage, overtime and record-keeping laws and of exploiting mentally disabled workers, has recently settled the dispute.