Kansas Supreme Court Describes 'Tool' to Determine Employment Status
Lexology (10/28/14) Sarah E. Burch
In Craig v. FedEx Ground Package System Inc., the Kansas Supreme Court spelled out the 20-factor test to determine employment status under the Kansas Wage Payment Act and ruled that even though FedEx delivery drivers had contractually agreed that they were independent contractors, they actually were employees under the test. The court said the test includes "economic reality" considerations used to determine employment status under the Fair Labor Standards Act but puts the primary focus on the employer's right to control, or the old Kansas common law test.
Each of the factors must be considered, but they should be viewed as a whole, said the court. However, experts believe the test is imprecise, making it important for employers to seek legal assistance in determining whether their workers are properly classified. Full Story Available
Missouri Court Finds Trial Necessary to Resolve Whether Break Time Is Compensable Under Missouri Law
Lexology (10/17/14) Noel P. Tripp
In Benton v. Labels Direct Inc., plaintiffs who received one 30 minute and two 15 minute breaks, which were unpaid, argued that Fair Labor Standards Act regulations stating that break periods between five and 20 minutes generally are compensable applies under Missouri law and that they should be compensated for their two 15-minute breaks. However, the judge rejected their motion for summary judgment, indicating that "it is uncontroverted that during these breaks, the employees were completely relieved from duty, free to do whatever they wanted, and provided meals [and that the regulation did not necessarily control the court's ruling under either the FLSA or Missouri law]." The decision gives employers some measure of defense for uncompensated breaks under 20 minutes, but those covered by the FLSA should consider the federal regulation, state laws, and collective bargaining agreements when formulating policies. Full Story Available
Missouri Minimum Wage to Increase in 2015
KTVO (Missouri) (11/09/14)
Missouri's hourly minimum wage will increase to $7.65 on Jan. 1, according to the state Department of Labor. Retail and service businesses with annual gross sales of less than $500,000 are exempt. If a tipped employee does not earn at least $7.65 an hour, the employer must make up the difference. Missouri's minimum wage is calculated once a year and is tied to the cost of living.