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On May 15, 2024, the New Jersey Supreme Court held in Maia v. IEW Construction Group that both the six-year look-back period and liquidated damages provided by the state Wage Theft Act (WTA) do not apply retroactively. Notably, the WTA’s extended statute of limitations will only apply to conduct that occurred after the WTA’s effective date—August 6, 2019. As such, employees filing suit before August 6, 2025 to recover unpaid wages may only recover for conduct occurring after the WTA’s effective date even though the relevant time period would not include the full six-year look-back period. Although the look-back period is now six years, if an employee files a lawsuit today, that employee would only be able to recover for conduct dating back to August 6, 2019 (which is a limitations period of less than 5 years). Similarly, employees may only recover liquidated damages—which were not previously available under the state wage and hour laws—for conduct occurring after the WTA’s effective date.

For background, the New Jersey Wage and Hour Law (WHL) and the New Jersey Wage Payment Law (WPL) require employers timely pay their employees for all wages earned, including any overtime. In August 2019, New Jersey enacted the WTA, amending the WHL and WPL by adding liquidated damages and extending the statute of limitations from two years to six years. This means that, pursuant to the WTA amendments, employees who file suit seeking to recover unpaid wages may recover any unpaid wages within six years prior to the commencement of such lawsuit (often referred to as the “six-year look-back period”) plus liquidated damages up to 200% of the wages owed, together with costs and reasonable attorney’s fees.

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As we have previously addressed, the U. S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued its final rule raising salary thresholds for overtime exemptions under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) effective January 1, 2025.

While there are legal challenges to the final rule, the DOL is offering webinars about the final rule to employers on May 30, 2024 and June 3, 2024.

Those webinars could certainly provide employers with valuable insights into the DOL’s approach. 

While the DOL may well encourage employers to make modifications immediately to comply with the final rule, the legal ...

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The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that in determining exemption from the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) for “workers engaged in foreign or interstate commerce” — commonly referred to as the “transportation worker” exemption—courts must focus on workers’ job duties rather than the industry in which they work. Bissonnette v. LePage Bakeries Park St., LLC. The ruling overturns a Second Circuit decision that held that the workers arguing exemption from the FAA did not qualify as transportation workers because they did not work in the transportation industry. The ...

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On April 23, 2024, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced a new final rule through which it has significantly raised the bar for businesses to continue to classify their employees as exempt from overtime pursuant to the executive, administrative and professional (“EAP”) and “highly compensated employee” exemptions. Specifically, the DOL announced substantial increases to the salary threshold requirements for these exemptions, which will take effect on a staggered basis on July 1, 2024, and again on January 1, 2025.  

The New Salary Thresholds

The salary ...

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Workday breaks can go a long way to reduce employees’ stress and fatigue on the job while also improving overall job satisfaction and productivity. It important for New York State employers and employees to familiarize themselves with the legal requirements of workplace breaks. This tip offers an overview of New York State workplace meal and rest period laws and provides guidance on how to remain in compliance.

Meal Periods

Meal Period Requirements

Generally, New York law requires employers to provide a meal break. Section 162 of the New York State Labor Law establishes the ...

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Washington, D.C. is poised to extend the reach of its minimum wage requirements. On January 10, 2024, Washington D.C. Mayor Bowser signed the Minimum Wage Clarification Amendment Act of 2023 (B25-0134) (the “Amendment”), which modifies the circumstances under which an employee must be paid the District of Columbia’s minimum wage.

Traditionally, D.C.’s wage and hour law has required employers to pay employees at least the D.C. minimum wage when they (i) perform more than 50% of their work in the District, or (ii) the employee is based in D.C., and “regularly spends a ...

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More than a decade ago, Epstein Becker Green (EBG) created its complimentary wage-hour app, putting federal, state, and local wage-hour laws at employers’ fingertips.

The app provides important information about overtime, overtime exemptions, minimum wages, meal periods, rest periods, on-call time, and travel time, as well as tips that employers can use to remain compliant with the law and, hopefully, avoid class action, representative action, and collective action lawsuits and government investigations. 

As the laws have changed over the years, so too has EBG’s free ...

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On January 31, 2024, a Massachusetts trial court dismissed a claim against the Boston Globe alleging that the newspaper violated the commonwealth’s Wage Act by failing to pay an executive’s 2020 profit-share which the executive labeled a “commission.”  The court concluded that the percentage of the Globe’s profits that the executive may be owed under his compensation plan is not a percentage of revenue he personally generated and as a result is not a “commission” under the Wage Act.

Vinay Mehra, the Globe’s President from 2017 until his June 2020 termination, filed ...

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Despite Punxsutawney Phil declaring an early spring, employers should continue to prepare for weather-related emergencies and their wage and hour implications.  As with most of wage and hour-related determinations, employers should be mindful of the distinctions between their exempt and non-exempt workforce when assessing their obligations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and state and local laws, to pay employees as a result of weather-related emergencies.

Salaried Exempt Employees

Under the FLSA, employers may not deduct from the salary of an employee classified ...

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On January 9, 2024, the United States Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) announced a final rule regarding how to determine whether a worker qualifies as an employee or may be considered an independent contractor under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  Designed to combat misclassification, the final rule rescinds DOL’s Trump-era Independent Contractor Rule issued in January 2021 and restores the non-exhaustive six-factor test courts have long used to evaluate whether or not independent contractors were properly classified.  The test considers:

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