In July 2015, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the dismissal of a Fair Labor Standards Act collective action brought by a temporary contact attorney against a law firm and staffing agency. The attorney claimed that he and other attorneys that had been hired to perform document review were entitled to overtime premium compensation, and that the FLSA's exemption for licensed lawyers engaged in the practice of law should not apply to that type of work.
Gregory Abrams, labor and employment counsel in Faegre Baker Daniels' Chicago office, published an article about this case and its implications appearing in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin Sept. 16.
"Ultimately, it remains to be seen whether any court will deem a licensed attorney performing document review a nonexempt employee," Abrams wrote. "But, at the very least, law firms and the staffing agencies that place temporary attorneys there may need to think twice before presuming only the non-lawyers in their offices can qualify for overtime compensation."