In the new issue of Take 5, our colleagues examine five employment, labor, and workforce management issues that will continue to be reviewed and remain top of mind for employers under the Trump administration:
The District Court for the Eastern District of Texas has denied the U.S. Department of Labor’s application to stay the case in which the district court enjoined the DOL’s new overtime regulations. The DOL had asked the court for a stay while the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals considered an interlocutory appeal of the injunction.
As wage and hour practitioners know:
- In May 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor announced that it would implement new regulations increasing the salary threshold for the executive, administrative, and professional overtime exemptions to $47,476 ($913 per week);
- In September 2016, a group
Featured on Employment Law This Week: Another Department of Labor action currently in limbo is the new federal salary thresholds for the overtime exemption. But New York went ahead with its own increased thresholds, sealing the deal at the end of 2016.
In New York City, the threshold is now $825 a week, or $42,950 annually, for an executive or administrative worker at a company with 11 or more employees. The salary thresholds will increase each year, topping out at $1,125 per week in New York City and in Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester counties.
On October 21, 2016, a Pennsylvania appeals court found that a group of franchisees were in violation of the state’s Wage Payment and Collection Law (“WPCL”) when they required employees to be paid with payroll debit cards. While the WPCL only permitted wage payment in cash or check, the Pennsylvania court noted that voluntary use of payroll debit cards may be an appropriate method payment. In this case, the court held that mandatory use of payroll debit cards was not lawful, as it may subject the employee to fees without his or her consent.
Two weeks later, on November 4, … Continue Reading
As we recently reported on our Wage & Hour Defense Blog, on November 22, 2016, a federal judge in the Eastern District of Texas issued a nationwide preliminary injunction enjoining the U.S. Department of Labor from implementing its new overtime exemption rule that would have more than doubled the current salary threshold for the executive, administrative, and professional exemptions and was scheduled to take effect on December 1, 2016. To the extent employers have not already increased exempt employees’ salaries or converted them to non-exempt positions, the injunction will, at the very least, appear to allow many employers to … Continue Reading
We have written often in the past several months about the new FLSA overtime rules that were scheduled to go into effect in little more than a week, dramatically increasing the salary thresholds for “white collar” exemptions and also providing for automatic increases for those thresholds.
In our most recent piece about the important decisions employers had to make by the effective date of December 1, 2016, careful readers noticed a couple of peculiar words — “barring … a last-minute injunction.”
On November 22, 2016, a federal judge in the Eastern District of Texas entered just such an … Continue Reading
Addressing an unusual set of facts, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia has dismissed a suit challenging an employer’s practice of retaining tips that customers give to valets. The plaintiff in Malivuk v. Ameripark, No. 1:15:cv-2570 WSD (N.D. Ga. 2016), alleged that she was promised an hourly wage plus tips but that her employer, who provided valet parking services, retained a portion of the tips.
The defendant moved to dismiss the case because the plaintiff did not allege that the company took a tip credit against the minimum wage or in any other way … Continue Reading
Featured on Employment Law This Week: Employers in the city of Chicago will soon be required to offer up to 40 hours of paid sick leave a year.
The City Council unanimously approved the paid sick leave ordinance, which will apply to all individuals and businesses with at least one employee. Chicago will now join more than two dozen other U.S. cities that require employers to provide paid sick leave. The mayor is expected to sign the ordinance, which is scheduled to go into effect July 1, 2017.
View the episode below or read more about this ordnance in an … Continue Reading
As anticipated in our posting on June 9, 2016, on June 21, 2016, the Washington, DC, Council unanimously passed on second reading the Fair Shot Minimum Wage Amendment Act of 2016, without substantive amendment. As discussed in our prior posting, this bill increases the District of Columbia minimum wage – already set to increase to $11.50 on July 1, 2016 – by additional annual increments until it reaches $15.00 on July 1, 2020. It also increases the tipped minimum wage in annual increments starting July 1, 2017 from the existing $2.77 to $5.00 on July 1, 2020. Both rates will … Continue Reading
The cities of Santa Monica, Pasadena, and San Diego have each recently passed ordinances increasing the minimum wage effective July 1, 2016. And two of them have passed ordinances providing for paid sick leave beyond that required by California state law.
The City of Santa Monica has passed a new ordinance providing for a city-wide minimum wage of $10.50 beginning July 1, 2016, $12.00 beginning July 1, 2017, and $13.25 beginning July 1, 2018, $14.25 beginning July 1, 2019, $15.00 beginning July 1, 2020 for most businesses with 26 or more employees. There is a one-year … Continue Reading
On June 7, 2016, the D.C. Council, with support of Mayor Muriel Bowser, unanimously passed on first reading the Fair Shot Minimum Wage Amendment Act of 2016 . The bill will continue to raise the District of Columbia minimum wage – currently $10.50, but previously set to increase to $11.50 on July 1, 2016 – in additional annual increments until it reaches $15.00 by July 1, 2020. Beginning on July 1, 2021, the minimum wage will increase further based on the … Continue Reading
After spending the last few years litigating with Domino’s franchisees over wage hour violations, the New York Attorney General has filed suit contending that franchisor Domino’s Pizza Inc. is a joint employer with three franchisees, and therefore is liable for the “systematic underpayment” of franchise employees.
The New York Attorney General also claims that, regardless of whether it’s a joint employer, Domino’s is liable for misrepresentations and nondisclosures that led to the underpayment of employees at the three franchises and violated the New York Franchise Sales Act.
Through settlements in March 2014 and April 2015, twelve Domino’s franchise owners … Continue Reading
The top story on Employment Law This Week is California’s statewide $15 minimum wage.
On April 4, Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill that will raise California’s minimum wage to 15 dollars an hour by 2022 for companies with more than 25 employees. The increase will begin next year, moving from 10 dollars an hour to $10.50. California – one of the world’s biggest economies – is the first U.S. state to commit to a 15 dollar minimum wage. And the trend is continuing, with similar legislation signed in New York last week as well. David Jacobs from Epstein Becker … Continue Reading
The new episode of Employment Law This Week features Oregon’s new three-tiered minimum wage system.
Oregon is the latest of the many states and municipalities that have acted to raise the minimum wage. The state has enacted an unusual system with three distinct minimum wage rates. The highest tier covers the Portland Metropolitan Area, the lowest covers non-urban counties, and all other counties fall in the middle tier. The state has laid out a schedule for incremental increases of the wage each year. Starting July 1st, 2016, the highest rate will be $9.75 an hour. This new system could prove … Continue Reading
On March 1, 2016, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed a law raising the state’s minimum wage. The law is an unusual one, and it will create challenges for many employers with employees in the state, particularly those with operations or employees in multiple counties.
The first increase to the state’s minimum wage will take effect on July 1, 2016, with a new increase scheduled to take effect each July thereafter. The law provides a schedule of annual increases through 2022. Beginning in 2023, the minimum wage will be adjusted annually to account for inflation.
Starting July 1, 2016, the Oregon … Continue Reading
One of the featured stories on Employment Law This Week – Epstein Becker Green’s new video program – is the increase in minimum wage laws across the country in 2016. Nationwide, activism around minimum wages has had a big impact on new legislation coming into effect this year. Sixteen states and the District of Columbia will raise their minimum wages in 2016. California and Massachusetts will have the highest state minimum wages at $10/hour. Some city governments have gone even higher. San Francisco employers and large Seattle employers who do not provide medical benefits will have to pay a minimum … Continue Reading
As we look towards the New Year, employers with locations in various jurisdictions should be mindful of state and local minimum wage increases that will soon take effect.
Some of these increases are a result of laws that tie wages to an economic index (generally the Consumer Price Index). Others are the result of recent legislation.
Below are two charts addressing these changes. The first summarizes the relevant changes for states; the second, for cities and other localities.
Please note that Arizona, Florida, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, and Washington all have CPI based wage laws, and all have … Continue Reading
On October 2, 2015, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 1506, insulating employers from Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”)lawsuits based on employee wage statements if employers cure certain defects in the wage statements within 33 days of being put on notice of them.
The law is being celebrated by some as a major development that will significantly reduce the number of PAGA lawsuits filed against California employers. Unfortunately, there may be a bit of a misunderstanding about what the new law does and how far it reaches. While it is certainly a positive step for employers that will insulate them … Continue Reading
Although not widely reported, effective January 1, 2016, the District of Columbia joins New York City and San Francisco in requiring employers of 20 or more employees to offer qualified transportation benefits. By that date, covered D.C. employers who do not already do so must offer one of three transit benefit options.
Under the Sustainable DC Omnibus Amendment Act of 2014, Title III, Subtitle A, “Reducing Single Occupancy Vehicle Use by Encouraging Transit Benefits,” at D.C. Code §32-151, et seq., covered employers must “provide at least one of the following transportation benefit programs to its employees:”
- A benefit
Many of our clients have downloaded our free, first-of-its-kind Wage & Hour Guide for Employers app, available for Apple, Android, and BlackBerry devices.
We have just updated the app, and the update is a significant one.
While the app originally included summaries of federal wage-hour laws and those for several states and the District of Columbia, the app now includes wage-hour summaries for all 50 states, as well as D.C. and Puerto Rico.
Now, more than ever, we can say that the app truly makes nationwide wage-hour information available in seconds. At a time when wage-hour litigation and agency … Continue Reading
On July 2, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed a federal district court decision that held that unpaid interns should have been classified and paid as employees under both the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and the New York State Labor Law. Glatt v. Fox Searchlight Pictures, Inc., Nos. 13-4478-cv, 13-4481-cv (2d Cir. July 2, 2015). The Second Circuit’s decision provides valuable guidance to employers with unpaid interns.
In the case, the Second Circuit noted the U.S. Department of Labor’s (“DOL’s”) 1967 and 2010 informal guidance on “trainees” and “interns” respectively, and specifically … Continue Reading
On January 29, 2015, the California Court of Appeal published its long-awaited decision in Augustus v. ABM Security Services, Inc., reversing a near-$90 million judgment awarded in the favor of a certified class of current and former security guards on rest period claims. The decision is a welcome development for California employers, particularly those who ask employees to remain on-call while on breaks in case they are needed.
The Court of Appeal explained that the trial court’s judgment had rested on the false premise “that California law requires employers to relieve their workers of all duty during rest breaks.”… Continue Reading
On January 14, 2015, in Hargrove v. Sleepy’s LLC, the New Jersey Supreme Court answered a certified question from the Third Circuit and held that the “ABC” test governs whether a plaintiff is an employee or an independent contractor under the New Jersey Wage Payment Law and the New Jersey Wage and Hour Law.
Therefore, companies defending their independent contractor classifications in either litigation or government investigations under these statutes will be required to show that an individual providing services:
(A) is free from the company’s control in performing the services;
(B) performs work outside the usual course of … Continue Reading
On January 12, 2015, the California Supreme Court issued its decision in Mendiola v. CPS Security Solutions, Inc. While it will have no impact upon most employers, it is a decision that will have significant impact on some. It may well lead to the filings of class action lawsuits against some employers alleging that they did not pay employees for sleep time – lawsuits those employers now may have great difficulty defending.
To the surprise of some, the Court concluded that security guards who are assigned 24-hour shifts, but sleep 8 of those hours, must be compensated for the entire … Continue Reading