FLSA Exemption Claims

The Pursley Law Firm has the ability to pursue FSLA Exemption claims for employees all over Texas; including Austin, Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, El Paso and San Antonio. This can be a confusing area of employment law and an experienced and competent attorney will help you sort through the details of your situation with your employer.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) exempts from minimum wage and overtime coverage, employees in particular industries of employment. Domestic service employees employed to provide companionship services for individuals who, because of age or infirmity, are unable to care for themselves. Meaning either nannies for children or in-home care for the elderly and infirm. Those regulations in turn define domestic service employment as services of a household nature performed by an employee in or about a private home (whether permanent or temporary) of the person by whom he or she is employed. Employees in an assisted-living residence have been determined that they do not in fact work in private homes. Where they provided services through an assisted-living program, it is more like a commercial residence (similar to apartments) and so the FLSA's domestic-services exemption does not apply.

Another exemption of the FLSA, exempts from its minimum wage and overtime requirements, an employee who works catching or cultivating fish or, in the "fish processing," canning, or packing marine products at sea. The applicable regulations impose certain requirements must be met to qualify for a "fish processing" exemption. If employees who worked on an ocean-going trawler sought wages allegedly due them under the FLSA; and the employer responded that they were subject to the FLSA's fishing operations exemption. The Court will find that because the employees worked on an ocean-going trawler on which they caught fish and cleaned, rinsed and froze them, the employees engaged in "fish processing" activities that qualified for the FLSA's fishing operations exemption.

The FLSA also exempts agriculture from minimum wage requirements under limited circumstances. It is noted that any employee employed in agriculture does not necessarily fall into the FLSA agriculture exemption. Agriculture as defined by the FLSA has primary and secondary components. Primarily, agriculture means farming in all its branches, such as cultivating and tillage of soil, growing and harvesting of crops. Secondarily, agriculture includes other farm practices, but only if they are performed by a farmer or on a farm. Farming also includes horticulture. Examples of not falling into the FLSA agriculture exemption would be a tomato packing plant that packed tomatoes grown by other producers in addition to its own products. Also, an employer can lose its status as a farmer when it sends chickens to independent contractor farms.

Unlike most statutes, the burden of proof in FLSA cases often falls on the defendant-employer, not the plaintiff-employee. For example, the employer bears the burden of showing an employee is exempt from the FLSA's overtime provisions. If an employment attorney can help you sort through your FLSA exemption employment law issue, then be sure to contact the Pursley Law Firm for guidance.

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