Monday, August 15, 2011

“If I could press a button and instantly vaporize one sector of employment law?”

Today, I am empowering all of my readers with a superpower. As the saying goes, with great power comes great responsibility, so exercise this gift wisely and judiciously.

On Friday, Walter Olson, on Overlawyered, asked the following question, “If I could press a button and instantly vaporize one sector of employment law…”?

My answer—the Fair Labor Standards Act. The FLSA needs to go because compliance is impossible. Congress enacted the FLSA during the Great Depression to combat the sweatshops that had taken over our manufacturing sector. In the 70+ years that have passed, it has evolved, via a complex web of regulations and interpretations, into an anachronistic maze of rules that even the best-intentioned employer cannot hope to comply with. I would bet any employer in this country a free wage and hour audit that I can find an FLSA violation in your pay practices. A regulatory scheme that is impossible to meet does not make sense to keep alive. Instead, what employers and employees need is a more streamlined system to ensure that workers are paid a fair wage.

Readers, what employment law would you get rid of? Leave your thoughts in the comments, on Twitter, or on my Facebook Page. I’ll collate and publish them in a future post.

Written by Jon Hyman, a partner in the Labor & Employment group of Kohrman Jackson & Krantz. For more information, contact Jon at (216) 736-7226 or