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As an employment law attorney, Joe connects with clients, their businesses and their employees so he can provide the ongoing, custom guidance they deserve. Joe concentrates much of his practice on the facets of employment law that regularly change, such as wage and hour collective/class actions. He also counsels clients on the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN), Department of Labor actions and discrimination laws.

On January 6, 2015, Husch Blackwell obtained summary judgment for ConAgra Foods, ending a two-year collective action filed by supervisor employees alleging they had been misclassified as exempt under federal and state wage and hour laws. The case is Evelyn Garrison, et al. v. ConAgra Foods Packaged Foods, LLC, No. 4:12-cv-00737-SWW. With this result,

Yesterday, a group of nine Senate Democrats proposed new legislation (S. 2486) that would increase the amount of salary that must be paid to certain employees.  Led by Senator Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, the group seeks to change the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) in two significant ways, and those changes mirror those requested from the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) by President Obama earlier this year.  Both changes would apply to employees who are exempted from the FLSA’s overtime requirements under the widely-used “white collar” exemptions.

Since 2004, employees earning more than $455 per week on a salary basis meet the first white collar requirement for exemption from the overtime provisions of the FLSA.  On an annual basis, that weekly salary translates to $23,660 for exempt employees.  While this weekly amount was an increase over levels previously required by the DOL, and though many exempt employees earn well more than the weekly minimum, President Obama and Senator Harkin’s group believe the minimum needs to be adjusted to keep up with changing income levels.
Continue Reading Proposed Legislation Would Alter the FLSA’s “White Collar” Exemptions