Please respond to each question set in the order in which it appears below, inserting thenumber of the question set as a heading or in the first line of the response to that set.

QUESTION SET ONE

The Tough Lawyers For You (TLFY) law firm, located in San Francisco, California, prides itself in its combative approach to all things legal. Last week, Bruce, a senior partner, interviewed Inga and Claudio for two mid-level litigation attorney positions in the firm’s expanding employment practice section. They were each well qualified, with strikingly similar credentials in terms of education, experience, and references. Because they also did really well in their respective interviews, Bruce and his fellow hiring committee members decided to hire both of them right away. Per the firm’s usual practice, Bruce had asked for their current salary information and knew that Inga was making $95,000 a year at her firm, while Claudio was making $125,000 at his. Because TLFY never likes to pay a dollar more than necessary (on anything), the firm wanted its offers to hew pretty closely to the applicants’ current salaries, but it decided to sweeten the pot just a little in order to entice them to make the move to TLFY. It therefore offered Inga one of the positions at an annual salary of $100,000, and it offered the other one to Claudio at an annual salary of $135,000. When he made the job offer to Claudio, Bruce made it clear that Claudio was not to discuss his salary with anyone. Each candidate has since accepted the offer.

  • In light of the course reading (which, as always, includes the Canvas Lesson Commentary), analyze whether this scenario could result in any legal claims against TLFY. Be sure to
  1. Identify any and all claims that Inga could potentially have, identify the law(s) on which the claim(s) would be based, identify the elements of each claim, and explain to what extent she could or could not establish each element of each claim.
  2. Identify any and all claims that Claudio could potentially have, identify the law(s) on which the claim(s) would be based, identify the elements of each claim, and explain to what extent he could or could not establish each element of each claim.
  3. Identify and analyze any defenses TLFY could assert in response to the claim(s), and explain to what extent the firm could or could not establish the defense.
  4. If additional information would be helpful to your analyses, explain what that information would be and how and why it would impact them.

QUESTION SET TWO

TLFY’s support staff includes Erin, an administrative assistant who works for two senior partners, including Bruce. Unlike the younger attorneys, Bruce and his fellow senior partners rely on their administrative assistants to type all correspondence, formal memos, and legal briefs, a task which takes up much of Erin’s time. In addition, she screens the two partners’ calls, handles their schedules, makes their business and personal travel arrangements, and organizes various aspects of their personal lives, such as making sure that the appropriate gifts, cards, or flowers are sent for family events. Erin is paid a salary of $65,000 and, in accordance with her job description and the original terms of her job offer, has been deemed to be exempt ever since she was hired 10 years ago. Although her work schedule is 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, she sometimes works much longer hours and, occasionally, 7 days a week. Erin is not paid overtime because of her administrative assistant title, job description, the terms of her job offer, and her substantial salary.

  • In light of the course reading (which, as always, includes the Canvas Lesson Commentary) and your independent research about Fair Labor Standards Act remedies,
  1. Analyze whether the firm has correctly classified Erin as an exempt employee under the FLSA, describing what TLFY would have to show in order to sustain Erin’s exempt status, and explaining to what extent the firm could or could not make that showing.
  2. Assuming that Erin has not been properly classified, describe the remedies that she would have pursuant to the FLSA.
  3. If additional information would be helpful to your analysis, explain what that information would be and how and why it would impact your thinking.

QUESTION SET THREE

TLFY’s receptionist, Arlette, who’s been with the firm for nearly six years, is classified as non-exempt and her hourly pay rate is $13. Her work schedule is 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., Monday through Friday. She’s expected to be at her desk in the lobby, ready to greet clients and other visitors (and offer them coffee), at 9:00 A.M., when the firm officially opens. For as long as she’s been with the firm, Arlette has made it her practice to arrive by 8:30 A.M. to get the coffee machines going; empty the dishwasher so that clean coffee mugs are ready; and retrieve and arrange the day’s newspapers in the lobby. Because she gets an (unpaid) full hour for lunch, the firm pays her for seven hours a day. Additionally, because the office manager appreciates Arlette’s prep work each morning, Arlette accrues 30 minutes of “comp” time each day. At this point Arlette has banked more than 300 hours of comp time.

Kyle, a long time firm messenger, is also classified as non-exempt, with an hourly pay rate of $15. Like Arlette, his hours are 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., Monday through Friday. Because documents or packages often need to be picked up before 9:00A.M., Kyle checks for text messages at 7:30 A.M. so that he can pick up requested items on his way to work and still get there by 9:00 A.M. On an average of four days a week, Kyle ends up leaving his house at 7:30 A.M. instead of 8:00 A.M. in order to do these morning “runs,” which usually add about 30 minutes to what would otherwise be a one hour commute to work. Upon arrival, he fills out a TLFY form stating what he picked up; from what location; the extra miles he drove, if any; any parking costs he incurred; the time of pick up; and the name of the TLFY attorney or staff member who requested it. Although he’s never been paid for this pre-work activity, Kyle is reimbursed for any extra miles and parking.

Kyle’s designated (unpaid) lunch hour is from 1:00 P.M. to 2:00 P.M. He brings his lunch to work, rarely leaves the building and spends most of the time reading and playing games on his phone, which he always has nearby in case an outside “run” is needed. When asked to do so, which is about four times a week, Kyle drops things off for TLFY on his way home. These end of the day runs add anywhere from a few minutes to an hour to his commute and he’s reimbursed for any extra miles and parking costs. The firm pays him for seven hours a day, i.e., for his 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. work day, minus his lunch hour.

Because TLFY wants to keep track of its employees’ hours and pay, it keeps comprehensive time and payroll records for two years.

  • In light of the course reading (which, as always, includes the Canvas Lesson Commentary) analyze:
  1. Whether Arlette is being paid correctly pursuant to the FLSA and if not, describe the FLSA remedies to which she may be entitled and why;
  2. Whether Kyle is being paid correctly pursuant to the FLSA and if not, describe the FLSA remedies to which he may be entitled and why;
  3. Describe any additional FLSA issues that could arise based on this question set.
  4. If additional information would be helpful to your analyses, explain what that information would be and how and why it would impact them.
 
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