July 15, 2019 Top Story

Adjusting to Expanding Exemptions in the FLSA

Increasingly employer-friendly interpretation in overtime disputes

By Mark A. Flores

At least one appellate court seems to be following the U.S. Supreme Court’s lead in the increasingly expansive interpretation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)’s overtime pay exemptions, according to ABA Section of Litigation leaders. This emerging trend is not necessarily favorable for employees, leaders say, given recent outcomes in Munoz-Gonzalez v. D.L.C. Limousine Service, Inc. and Flood v. Just Energy Marketing Corporation.

A “limo” driver was classified as a taxicab driver, and thus, not entitled to overtime

A “limo” driver was classified as a taxicab driver, and thus, not entitled to overtime

iStockphoto by Getty Images

Expansion of the “Taxicab” Exemption

Congress  established the FLSA approximately 80 years ago to regulate wage, hour, and overtime standards and to create employer exemptions for overtime pay. The exemptions vary covering salespersons to certain executives to taxicab drivers. In Encino Motorcars, LLC v. Narvarro, the Court advised lower courts not to interpret overtime exemptions narrowly. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has followed the Court’s lead in two recent cases.

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