Spencer Fane LLP Logo

Wage and Hour Issues

St. Louis City Minimum Wage Set To Increase to $10 Per Hour

Today, the Circuit Court for the City of St. Louis, Missouri lifted an injunction that had blocked a St. Louis City ordinance increasing the minimum wage for St. Louis City businesses. This action came after the Missouri Supreme Court ruled that state law did not prohibit the higher local minimum wage.

Spencer Fane Team Secures Court Order Striking St. Louis Minimum Wage Increase

On October 14, 2015, a St. Louis judge declared the city’s planned minimum wage increase invalid because it conflicts with the state minimum wage, currently set at $7.65 per hour. In August, the City of St. Louis passed an ordinance that would have eventually raised the minimum wage to $11.00 per hour by 2018. The first increase to $8.25 per hour was set to take effect on October 15, 2015.

The DOL Announces Guidance on Wage and Hour Misclassification – Employees vs Independent Contractors

The Department of Labor recently released new guidance (Administrator’s Interpretation No. 2015-1) on how it will decide whether a worker is properly classified as an employee or an independent contractor. Although the factors discussed in the Administrator’s Interpretation are not new, the DOL’s broad reading of the term “employee” under the Fair Labor Standards Act and the heightened focus on the “economic realities” of the business relationship between the worker and the purported employer indicate that wage and hour misclassification will be an enforcement priority for the DOL going forward.

Supreme Court Makes It Easier for Administrative Agencies to Change “Interpretive Rules”

Last week, the Supreme Court of the United States held that Interpretive Rules issued by administrative agencies do not have to undergo the notice-and-comment rulemaking procedures of the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”) even if they contradict or substantially change previously issued Interpretive Rules. Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association, et al., —S.Ct.—, 2015 WL 998535 (Mar. 9, 2015). Specifically, the Court held that the Department of Labor was allowed to change its position on whether mortgage-loan officers were exempt from the overtime provisions of the FLSA even though (1) it did not follow the APA’s notice-and-comment rules prior to changing its position and (2) it had taken the exact opposite position just four year earlier.

Kansas City Area Restaurants Targeted by Union Organizers

The Union is acting as though it is a public interest group that is seeking to increase the minimum wage to $15. But its true goal is to become the restaurant workers’ exclusive bargaining representative. First, the Union ingratiates itself with restaurant workers by advocating for a substantial increase in the minimum wage. Second, it asks the workers to sign letters that they support and will participate in a strike with other employees in support of a minimum wage increase. Then the union seeks employee signatures on union authorization cards. Finally, once it has collected a sufficient number of signed authorization cards, it files an election petition with the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”).

Are unpaid internship programs lawful?

The Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) sets a federally mandated floor on the hourly wages of employees that are employed by for-profit employers. It also governs the maximum number of hours that an employee may work in a single week without receiving overtime pay. The number of employers that have allegedly violated the FLSA by improperly maintaining unpaid internship programs continues to grow.

For Steelworkers, Time Spent Donning and Doffing Protective Gear Not Compensable


Unionized employers do not have to compensate employees for the time they spend putting on and taking off protective gear if the collective bargaining agreement states that time spent changing clothes is not compensable. However, time spent changing into and out of non-clothes is compensable even if the collective bargaining agreement states otherwise.

Supreme Court Finds Pharmaceutical Representatives Exempt From Overtime

In Christopher v. Smithkline Beecham Corp., — U.S. —, 2012 WL 2196779 (2012), the Supreme Court of the United States held that pharmaceutical sales representatives qualify as “outside salesmen” and are therefore exempt from the overtime pay requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). In addition to being welcome news for pharmaceutical companies, this case may be a harbinger of less judicial deference to regulatory agencies under certain circumstances.

Employer Not Liable for Retaliatory Discharge Under Kansas Wage Payment Act

This article discusses a recent Kansas Court of Appeals case holding an employer cannot be liable for retaliatory discharge for firing an employee to avoid paying commissions owed under the Kansas Wage Payment Act.

**Update** – Minimum Wage Ballot Measure Stopped

Despite a win at the Missouri Supreme Court on the procedure to get a ballot measure on the November 2012 election ballot, the Missouri Secretary of State ruled that the ballot measure failed to get enough signatures and would not be on the ballot after all.

Showing 1-10 of 10 results View All