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February 16, 2018

DOL Adopts New Unpaid Intern Test

On Jan. 5, 2018, the Department of Labor (DOL) adopted a new test for unpaid interns. Employers should use this test—called the primary beneficiary test—when determining if a worker can be properly classified as an unpaid intern or if they need to be classified as an employee and paid minimum wage and overtime. The test adopted by the DOL has already been in use in four federal appellate courts, most recently the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The DOL’s switch to the primary beneficiary test creates a nationwide standard.
February 6, 2018

FLSA: Compensable Travel Time

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulates what constitutes compensable time or hours worked. Under the FLSA, compensable time includes all work an employer “suffers or permits” its employees to work. This may occasionally include an employee’s travel time. This article provides general information relating to compensable travel time under the FLSA.
January 22, 2018

DOL Announces New Standard for Unpaid Interns

On Jan. 5, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced that it would adopt a new standard for determining whether interns and students are “employees” who must be paid under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The DOL clarified that, going forward, it would abandon its sixpart test and instead adopt the “primary beneficiary” test used by federal courts.
January 11, 2018

DOL Civil Penalties Increase for 2018

On Jan. 2, 2018, the Department of Labor (DOL) published a final rule that sets forth its annual inflation adjustments to civil monetary penalties. The DOL is required to adjust these penalties for inflation no later than Jan. 15 each year.
January 8, 2018

New Rules for Disability Claims Will Take Effect on April 1, 2018

On Jan. 5, 2018, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced that, effective April 1, 2018, employee benefit plans must comply with new requirements for disability benefit claims. In 2016, the DOL released a final rule to strengthen the claims and appeals requirements for plans that provide disability benefits and are subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The final rule was scheduled to apply to claims that are filed on or after Jan. 1, 2018. However, on Nov. 24, 2017, the DOL delayed the final rule for 90 days—until April 1, 2018—to give stakeholders the opportunity to submit comments on the final rule’s benefits and costs.
December 19, 2017

DOL Delays New Rules for Disability Benefit Claims

On Dec. 16, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) released a final rule to strengthen the claims and appeals requirements for plans that provide disability benefits and are subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). That rule has been delayed until April 1, 2018.
December 15, 2017

NLRB Reinstates Prior Joint Employer Standard

On Dec. 14, 2017, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) overruled its “indirect control” joint employer standard and reverted to the previous “direct control” standard.
November 28, 2017

DOL Provides Update on Overtime Rule

Last May, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced a new rule that would affect who qualifies for overtime. Since then, the rule has been blocked and is currently being appealed by the DOL. Here is a brief timeline of events thus far...
October 24, 2017

Requirements for Classifying Workers as Independent Contractors

There are a variety of reasons that an employer might want to classify a worker as an independent contractor (IC). The most compelling are usually the tax savings and the administrative time savings of not having to put that individual on payroll. Often employers believe that if they hire a temporary employee, this option is available to them since it seems to make sense that you shouldn’t have to jump through as many hoops when only employing someone for a few days or even a few months. Other employers believe that a worker's consent to being classified as an IC is all that is necessary. Unfortunately, no matter how good the reason or how short of a time the worker works for you, if they don’t pass the tests established by the Department of Labor (DOL) and IRS, they must be classified as an employee. Failure to do so could result in significant penalties due to both wage and hour and tax withholding violations. Thankfully, the DOL and IRS tests are quite similar, and a worker who looks like an IC under one test will likely look the same when the other test is applied. Here we have provided the DOL’s test.