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wage and hour

Who Can Recoup Attorney’s Fees Under California Wage and Hour Law?

California wage and hour law is a convoluted landscape when it comes to determining when a prevailing employee or employer can recover attorneys’ fees and costs. Under California Labor Code Section 1194, an employee who wins a lawsuit against her employer for nonpayment of overtime compensation is entitled to recover reasonable attorneys’ fees.

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Strategies for Coping With a Wage and Hour Audit

Katz_ShlomoThousands of employers get a figurative knock-on-the-door each year from an investigator from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division. WHD is the agency responsible for enforcing the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Davis-Bacon Act and the Service Contract Act, among other laws. A visit from WHD can be stressful — and rightfully so, since it can result in a huge bill for back wages or even being put out of business. In this piece, we provide tips for reducing stress and coping with an investigation.

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Can We Hire a Foreign Exchange Student as an Intern?

We are an accounting firm that frequently hires area college students to intern for short periods throughout the year. We recently received a few outstanding applications from foreign students attending the local college.  Can we hire foreign students as interns?

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Piece-rate Pay System Makes Class and FLSA Collective Action Infeasible, Says 7th Circuit

A class action allegation cannot succeed when each employee works a different schedule and has countless other fact-dependent duties and responsibilities. For one employer, thousands of employees with varied work schedules and pay rates could not demonstrate “class” status for Fair Labor Standards Act purposes. This was particularly true when the employees were paid on a piece-rate system, said the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in its second ruling involving a class action against television company DirectSat. (See Espenscheid v. DirectSat USA, No. 12-1943 (7th Cir., Feb. 4, 2013).)

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DOL Gets Serious About Federal Contractor Compliance; Slaps Companies with $1M in Back Wages in November

Companies that violate the federal government contractor laws risk not just fines and citations from the U.S. Department of Labor, but also debarment that prevents them from bidding on any other federal contracts for a specified period.

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Employers Hit With Record Number of Wage and Hour Lawsuits in 2012

The number of wage and hour lawsuits continued to increase and hit a new high in 2012, according to data released on July 20 by law firm Seyfarth Shaw in Chicago.

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Wildfires Tax Local Fire Departments, Raise Wage and Hour Challenges

Higher than normal temperatures and dry conditions have fueled significant numbers of fires this wildfire season, particularly in the Western United States. Wage and hour issues may be far from the first concern for state and local agencies and communities preparing for, or dealing with, wildfires, but it behooves savvy municipalities to think about possible staffing and overtime challenges.

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New Car Wash Operator Gets Soaked by Old Owner’s FLSA Violations

A car wash operator apparently had a clean record of complying with labor law, but because of a special California labor law, a California appellate court recently held that the car wash was liable for a previous owner’s Fair Labor Standards Act violations, resulting in a $120,000 judgment.  The case, People ex rel. Harris v. Sunset Car Wash LLC, No. B233915 (Cal. Ct. App. May 16, 2012), required the court to consider California Labor Code Section 2066, a section that was motivated by a legislative concern that car wash employees were not being paid in accordance with law.

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Report: Fewer FLSA Cases Filed in 2011 than 2010

The number of Fair Labor Standards Act civil lawsuits filed in 2011 declined 7.2 percent, according to a recent report by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.

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