Wage & Hour

Overview

Dykema’s employment attorneys have extensive experience counseling clients regarding wage and hour compliance, as well as representing them across the nation before federal and state agencies and courts. While our goal is to help clients bring their payroll practices into compliance to avoid costly litigation, our attorneys are well prepared and able to defend collective and class action wage and hour matters. 

We closely monitor developments in wage and hour law so that we are able to quickly provide clients cutting edge counseling on these issues. As part of our commitment to stay at the forefront of this complex and developing legal area, our attorneys are active in the Federal Labor Standards Legislation Committee of the ABA’s Labor & Employment Law Section, serve as editors and contributors to the ABA’s treatise “The Fair Labor Standards Act,” and are active members of the Wage & Hour Defense Institute of the Litigation Counsel of America (a national network of top-tier wage and hour defense litigators). Our attorneys are also regularly featured presenters on wage and hour matters before such groups as the Society for Human Resource Management, the American Society of Employers and the Institute of Continuing Legal Education.

We offer clients guidance and representation on:

  • Classifying employees as exempt vs. non-exempt
  • Classifying workers as employees vs. contractors
  • Capturing all hours worked for payroll purposes
  • Advising on time and attendance practices to avoid or lessen overtime liability
  • Minimizing “off-the-clock” time
  • Complying with the rules governing travel time and other passive work time
  • Complying with the minimum wage rules and calculations as they apply to tipped employees
  • Developing pay, commission and bonus plans that comply with overtime pay calculation rules
  • Auditing payroll and time and attendance practices, and resolving any identified issues
  • Developing policies and practices that are compliant with California’s many unique and complex wage and hour laws
  • Defending misclassification, off-the-clock and other overtime pay and minimum wage claims
  • Negotiating and drafting settlement and release agreements pertaining to potential overtime pay and other wage and hour claims

Experience Matters

We are highly experienced at assisting both regional and multistate employers to construct and implement general policies that are compliant with the myriad of diverse federal and state wage and hour laws. In California, for example, our knowledge base covers Wage Orders, the state’s special rules with respect to the eight-hour day, overtime, exempt and non-exempt classification, paid meal and rest periods, the Private Attorney General Act, Waiting Time penalties and Itemized Wage Statements.  Our counseling has enabled our clients to avoid expensive claims and class actions and prosper in jurisdictions across the nation, including highly regulated states like California.

Examples of our experience include:

  • Drafting time and attendance and other employment policies for numerous national companies in various industries to facilitate their compliance with all applicable wage and hour laws.
  • Representing clients before the state agencies that enforce state wage and hour laws, including the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Wage and Hour Program, the Illinois Department of Labor, the Texas Workforce Commission and the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement.
  • Defeating class certification claims and successfully compelling arbitration in a case brought on behalf of over 700 former independent contractors against a company providing cable installation services to a national telecommunications company alleging that the contractors should have been classified as employees and asserting claims under various legal theories, including the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
  • Successfully defending a number of national wage and hour class actions including Campos v. Nautica Retail USA (N.D. Ill, 2012) and Dicato v. Francesca's Collections, Inc., No. 3:12-cv-01193-CAB (S.D. Cal. 2012).
  • Representing a sporting goods chain in a national class and collective action case regarding misclassification of store managers.
  • Representing an oilfield services company in a FLSA collective action brought on behalf of a 2,500 potential member class seeking unpaid overtime as a result of an alleged failure to include per diem payments in calculating the regular rate; resulting in only 300 employees opting into the class, and thereafter in a favorable settlement for the employer with court approval.
  • Representing an emergency medical service provider in a FLSA collective action filed by former employee alleging unpaid overtime and seeking conditional certification of a large class of current and former employees, only two individuals opted in, resulting in plaintiff-initiated settlement discussions and a court-approved settlement.
  • Representing a multi-state employer regarding pre- and post-shift activities.
  • Auditing job descriptions and payroll practices for a national manufacturer of construction products to assure better wage and hour compliance.
  • Counseling retail stores, hotels and property management companies on numerous wage and hour issues, including “on-call” time, donning and doffing time and paid time off policies.
  • Obtaining a summary judgment on behalf of employer, vocational school, in the Southern District of Texas against plaintiffs, former instructors at the school, who asserted they had been misclassified as exempt from overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
  • Securing a favorable resolution for clients through mediation before Federal Magistrate Judges in two collective action matters brought under the FLSA involving the potential loss of the tip credit.
  • Assisting an employer in reclassification of a large number of long-term employees from exempt to non-exempt with no claims being filed with the Department of Labor.
  • Advising several nonprofit corporations on developing policies and practices to guard against employees improperly “volunteering” their time.

Speaking Engagements