EEOC Sees #MeToo Uptick, Regulatory Agenda Released

By Robin Shea

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently released preliminary figures on sexual harassment activity for Fiscal Year 2018, which ended September 30. The EEOC’s figures indicate an increase in sexual harassment charges and EEOC lawsuits, and a dramatic increase in the amount paid to settle sexual harassment charges. Then, last week, the Trump Administration issued its regulatory agenda for Fall 2018, which contains a number of labor and employment-related matters.

EEOC #MeToo uptick

The following are highlights of the EEOC’s recently released preliminary numbers on sexual harassment for Fiscal Year 2018:

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Overtime, Non-Competes & Employee Medical Records: Three Topics for Employers in the Healthcare Field

By  L. Diane Tindall, Daniel Palmieri and Jenna Borders


The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the federal law that mandates the payment of a federal minimum wage and overtime pay to workers who do not fall within a specific FLSA exemption.  The most common of these exemptions under the FLSA are the so-called “white collar” exemptions for employees whose pay and duties reflect their exercise of real managerial or executive authority in the workplace and their ability to better influence their compensation.  In general, in order to be exempt from the minimum wage and overtime provisions under the white collar exemptions of the FLSA, an employee: (1) must be paid at least $455 per week (or $24,300 per year); must be paid on a “salary basis” (with some exceptions); and (3) must perform duties that are consistent with an executive, administrative or professional position (the “duties test”).  To be paid on a salary basis, an employee must receive the same pay each work week in which he or she performs any work (with a very few limited exceptions) without any deduction for the quantity or quality of work performed.

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Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Deals Significant Blow To Traditional Contractor-Subcontractor Relationship

  By Arty Bolick and John Ormand

On January 25, 2017, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals[1], dealt a significant blow to the traditional contractor-subcontractor relationship.  In finding a contractor and subcontractor could be considered “joint employers” of the subcontractor’s workers for purposes of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), the court’s decision has opened a pandora’s box of potential wage and hour issues, including claims for overtime pay against contractors and higher tier subcontractors from the employees of lower tier subcontractors. Read more

5 FLSA Practice Pointers From Marlon Hall v. DIRECTV, LLC

By Anitra K. Brown

Can a company disguise its control over a workforce through a myriad of affiliate companies? Apparently not. DIRECTV recently learned the hard way that its “web of agreements” revealed a joint employer relationship with its affiliates. These entities directly hired the field technicians responsible for installing and servicing DIRECTV’s satellites. The 4th Circuit panel, which included Judges Wynn, Floyd, and Harris, recently clarified in Marlon Hall v. DIRECTV, LLC, No. 15-1858 (argued Oct. 27, 2016). The proper test to determine if an employer could be held jointly and severally liable in a FLSA action as a joint employer.  


The Plaintiffs in Hall claimed to be employees, not independent contractors, installing satellite television. Both the panel and the lower court agreed with this assessment. Plaintiffs were hired by affiliate companies based on DIRECTV’s requirements and background checks. Per the employee agreements, Plaintiffs’ work schedules were controlled by DIRECTV and they had to wear the company’s uniform. Further, DIRECTV was their primary, if not only, client.

Consequently, the Plaintiffs in Hall each brought a claim under FLSA against DIRECTV.  Two of the plaintiffs, however, also brought an action against DirectSat as an affiliate and joint employer. These cases were transferred to and consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. The district court dismissed the claims pursuant to a 12(b)(6) Motion holding that Plaintiffs failed to adequately allege that DIRECTV and DirectSat were joint employers. The Fourth Circuit panel reversed and remanded on substantive and procedural grounds.
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