Wage and Hour

Our role as a leading public sector wage and hour firm began immediately following the February 1985 decision of the United States Supreme Court in Garcia v. San Antonio Metropolitan Transit Authority.  Our firm promptly conducted workshops across the State on behalf of the League of California Cities to advise public agencies on how to comply with the FLSA.  Since that time our firm has been active in legislative efforts to mitigate the harsh impact of the FLSA on public agencies.  We answer specific wage and hour/FLSA questions from our clients almost daily and provide invaluable resources including our reference publication The Fair Labor Standards Act: A Public Sector Compliance Guide, (We author two Guides: a specific version for California and a national version which is published by the National Public Employer Labor Relations Association.) Our training programs provide public agency managers and supervisors with an understanding of the FLSA. Our FLSA audits identify compliance issues and recommend practical solutions.

Wage and Hour Public Sector Advice

We have represented numerous public agencies and independent schools in FLSA/wage and hour matters which were resolved through practical and innovative solutions before litigation was initiated.  We have written dozens of opinion letters and have also defended clients in audits conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor.  We also assist agencies with the design and modification of payroll systems in order to achieve full compliance with wage and hour laws

Firm's FLSA Public Sector Audits

The concept of creating an FLSA audit resulted from our representation of numerous public agencies in FLSA litigation.  We recognized that there are so many nuances to the FLSA for public sector employers that compliance cannot be determined by casual observation.  An in-depth investigation and analysis is necessary to ensure full compliance with the law.  Our firm has developed an FLSA audit protocol to evaluate whether a public agency is in compliance with the various provisions of the FLSA.  The audit process we designed includes thorough investigation and analysis and practical recommendations to achieve compliance.

We have created an Internet website for our FLSA Audit practice, which may be accessed at www.flsaaudit.com

Wage and Hour Litigation

Our firm represented agencies in dozens of collective actions in federal court through all stages of litigation, including jury trials and appeals.  We won a federal court trial regarding FLSA off-the clock overtime claims on behalf of the City of Los Angeles.  Members of the firm have also participated in drafting legislation on wage and hour issues.  

Representative matters include:

  • Farris v. County of Riverside 150 deputy sheriff plaintiffs filed lawsuit claiming unpaid FLSA overtime related to donning and doffing and off the clock claims. Once discovery commenced, approximately 60 plaintiffs withdrew from the case, and approximately 90 plaintiffs were left at the time of trial. Judgment was entered in favor of County for FLSA retaliation claims following jury trial, and judgment entered in part for County (and in part for Plaintiffs) regarding FLSA unpaid overtime claims. After the three week federal jury trial which took place in 2008, and the two day bench trial on damages which took place in 2009, and following extensive briefing and damages calculations, judgment was entered in 2011.

  • SEIU v. County of Riverside131 employees (primarily nurses) from Riverside County Regional Medical Center filed FLSA lawsuit claiming they were improperly classified as exempt employees. Motion for Partial Summary Judgment granted in County's favor; the court found that the County met the salary basis test for the professional exemption.

  • Maciel v. City of Los Angeles – a federal District Court found in favor of the City on all claims after a seven-day trial.  The Court found that Maciel failed to present credible evidence supporting his assertion that he worked overtime without reporting it, or that management either knew or should have known that he was not following the Department's overtime reporting policy.  Finally, the Court found that Maciel was not entitled to overtime compensation for his "donning and doffing" activities because the time spent on those activities did not exceed the applicable threshold for overtime compensation.

Wage and Hour Training

Our firm regularly presents training programs on compliance with wage and hour laws.  We regularly provide wage and hour presentations at conferences including the National Public Employer Labor Relations Association (NPELRA), the California Public Employer Labor Relations Association (CalPELRA), the California Special Districts Association (CSDA), Southern California Labor Relations Council, Southern California Personnel Management Association, Los Angeles County City Attorney's Association and Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA). We have continuously conducted statewide training on the FLSA for public agencies since 1985.  As mentioned above, our firm also publishes The Fair Labor Standards Act: A Public Sector Compliance Guide, which is a comprehensive guide to FLSA in the public sector.  Our firm has updated the FLSA section in the California League of Cities Municipal Law Handbook.  We serve as a member of the Editorial Advisory Board for Thompson Publishing Group's Fair Labor Standards Handbook For States, Local Governments & Schools.  We have developed an FLSA Audit workshop for our employment relations consortium clients, whose membership includes hundreds of public agencies in California.

Featured Presentations

LCW Webinar Recording: Common Pitfalls in Using 9/80 Schedules
April 07, 2015
Many public employers utilize 9/80 work schedules for non-exempt employees. However, once the 9/80 work schedule is implemented, there are a number of mistakes unsuspecting employers often make which can inadvertently trigger overtime liability. These pitfalls, which can also apply to a 3/12 work schedule, and how to avoid them will be the subject of this webinar.
LCW Webinar Recording: Preparing for AB 1522 – California's New Paid Sick Leave Law
May 05, 2015
On July 1, 2015, California's new Paid Sick Leave Law (AB 1522) will go into effect. With very few exceptions, this new law will apply to every employee at your agency, including temporary, seasonal, and extra help employees. This webinar will cover the basic requirements of AB 1522 – including the Paid Sick Leave Law's use, accrual, carryover, and notice requirements. In addition, we'll outline the "gray" areas that exist and provide our best understanding of how to apply and implement the law so your agency will be prepared when the law goes into effect.
LCW Webinar Recording: Navigating the FLSA Salary Basis Test
September 29, 2015
Overtime exempt employees generally must be paid on a "salary basis" under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  However, your agency's policies and procedures may jeopardize this overtime exemption if the salary basis test is not correctly applied.  This webinar will cover how policies relating to discipline, jury duty, absences from work, use of partial/full days of accrued leaves, furloughs, tracking hours worked, setting hours worked, and providing extra compensation may affect exempt employees and their overtime exempt status. 
2016 Legislative Update for Public Agencies
December 10, 2015  |  10:00 AM
The California legislature passed numerous bills, which will go into effect on January 1, 2016, that will impact California employers. This webinar will provide an overview of key legislation, as well as pertinent employment law cases that will impact California's public agencies.
2016 LCW Annual Public Sector Employment Law Conference
February 24, 2016
The registration for the Liebert Cassidy Whitmore's 18th Annual Public Sector Employment Law Conference is now open!




To Contact Liebert Cassidy Whitmore:
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