John E. Thompson

About the Author

John 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.

Why You Might Want Exempt Employees to Keep Timecards

Management need not keep hours-worked records for employees who qualify for one of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act’s Section 13(a)(1) executive, administrative, professional, outside-sales, and derivative exemptions. Of course, employers may nevertheless maintain those records for such employees if they wish, and some do. However, one aspect of the U.S. Labor Department’s…

It’s Not Easy to Determine If an Employee Is Really “Exempt”

By John E. Thompson Coming changes in at least some of the U.S. Department of Labor’s definitions for the federal Fair Labor Standards Act’s Section 13(a)(1) “white collar” exemptions are leading employers to evaluate whether employees they treat as exempt meet all of the duties-related requirements. Numerous online sources offer checklists, questionnaires, decision-trees,…

Long-Held Pay Policies Might Not Stand Up to Scrutiny Under the FLSA

By John E. Thompson It’s time for a reminder: Long-held conventional wisdom that might be questionable or even mistaken under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (or the laws of other jurisdictions) continues to face unprecedented scrutiny. It is tempting to take comfort in platitudes like this: “The whole industry pays employees that…

Appeals Court Adds a New Wrinkle to the Unpaid Intern Question

By John E. Thompson Readers will recall that last July, the New York-based Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (with jurisdiction over Connecticut, New York, and Vermont) adopted a “primary benefit” framework for determining whether a for-profit entity’s unpaid intern is or is not an “employee” for purposes of the federal Fair Labor…

U.S. Department of Labor Reaching Out to Retail Workers About Their Rights

By John E. Thompson Employers in the retail industry take note: The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division has announced that it is “reach[ing] out to [retail] workers to educate them about their rights” under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. The initiative includes Labor Department’s publication of a Holiday Season…

Proposed Labor Department Regulations Would Greatly Expand Overtime Pay

By John E. Thompson At long last, the anxiously-awaited proposed changes in regulations defining the federal Fair Labor Standards Act’s Section 13(a)(1) executive, administrative, professional, outside-sales, and derivative exemptions have been published by the U.S. Department of Labor for public consideration and comment. Blaring headlines notwithstanding, here is what you should know: These…

Another Study Urges Restricting Employers’ Scheduling Options

By John E. Thompson Just as we expected, another report – this one from DC Jobs With Justice, the Jobs With Justice Education Fund, the DC Fiscal Policy Institute, and the Georgetown University Department of Government – asserts that District of Columbia employers are imposing “erratic and unpredictable hours” for their workers in an effort…

Expect Labor Department’s Independent Contractor Clarification This Summer

By John E. Thompson Employment Law360 recently reported U.S. Wage and Hour Division Administrator David Weil‘s announcement that he will soon release an Administrator Interpretation stating “a very clear set of criteria” delineating the agency’s view of who is and is not a “legitimate independent contractor” under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act….

Should Employers Keep Time Records For Exempt Employees?

By John E. Thompson Should an employer keep records of the time worked by employees who qualify for a federal Fair Labor Standards Act minimum-wage and/or overtime exemption? At the risk of giving the proverbial “lawyer’s answer,” it depends.

Push to Require “Predictable Scheduling” Is Gaining Momentum

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…

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

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…

FLSA Changes Could Make Many Retail Managers Non-Exempt Employees

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…

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

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…

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

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…

Proposed Minimum Wage Regulations for Federal Contractors Released

Editor’s Note: It’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…

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

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…

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

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…

Voter Actions Undercut Federal Push for $10.10 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…

Unpaid Intern Group Certified by Court For Collective Action

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…

Not Paying Employees On Time? It’s Considered an FLSA Violation

By John E. Thompson A recent decision by the U.S. Court of Federal Claims underscores important propositions under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act to the effect that: Failing to pay non-exempt employees the FLSA-required minimum-wage or overtime compensation by the next regular payday for the workweek (or by the next regular payday…