The Los Angeles City Council passed the Fair Work Week Ordinance (“FWWO”) that seeks to “implement enforcement measures for the new fair work week employment standards” for employees in the retail sector. Going into effect April 1, 2023, the FWWO will apply to any person, association, organization, partnership, business trust, limited liability company or corporation in the retail business or trade sector that directly or indirectly exercises control over the wages, hours or conditions of at least 300 employees globally. This includes employees through an agent or any other person, including through the services of a temporary staffing agency.
We seem to say this every year — December always seems to go by far too fast. And with holidays and vacations, not to mention many employees still working remotely, it’s not unusual for matters to be put off until the new year — or for a project or two to fall through the cracks.
On Tuesday, November 8, 2022, Washington, D.C. voters approved a ballot measure to eliminate the “tip credit” which allowed service industry employers to pay servers, bartenders, and other tipped employees $5.35 an hour rather than D.C.’s $16.10 per hour minimum wage. Currently, employers are required to pay the balance if an employee is unable to make up the difference through tips. Initiative 82 will phase out the tip credit, raising the tip credit minimum wage to $6.00 in January 2023, and then to $8 on July 1, 2023, and then increasing by $2.00 every year until 2027. In 2027, D.C. service industry employers will be required to pay employees at D.C.’s effective minimum wage.
Nebraska voters also approved a ballot initiative regarding minimum wage, passing Initiative 433, which raised the state’s minimum wage from $9.00 an hour to $10.50 per hour by 2023, with annual raises of $1.50 an hour per year until 2026 when the minimum wage will reach $15.00 per hour. After 2026, the minimum wage will be tied to Consumer Price Index.
In reversing a Nevada district court’s grant of summary judgment, the Ninth Circuit, in Cadena v. Customer Connexx LLC, recently held that the time call center employees spent booting up their computers is compensable. Because a functioning computer was necessary for the call center employees to do their job, the court unanimously agreed that the time required to turn on their computer and log in was “integral and indispensable to their principal activities” and, therefore, compensable, subject to certain limitations.
California plaintiffs’ lawyers typically bring every type of wage-hour claim they can. Increasingly, however, they have focused on one type of claim – wage statement violations.
As we have previously written about, bringing class and representative actions under California’s Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) alleging that employers did not fully comply with California’s onerous wage statement laws has become a lucrative practice for the plaintiffs’ bar. Given the flurry of litigation, it is beneficial for employers that do business in California to review their wage statements to best ensure compliance.
On October 25, 2022, the Department of Labor extended the comment period for its new proposed rule regarding independent contractor status under the Fair Labor Standards Act. While the comment period was originally set to expire on November 28, 2022, interested parties will now have until December 13, 2022 to submit comments.
In light of the federal court ruling reinstating the Trump-era independent contractor regulation (discussed here), on October 13, 2022, the Department of Labor published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding independent contractor status under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
work·week | \ ˈwərk-ˌwēk \
Perhaps one of the most important terms of art under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), an employer’s designated workweek impacts nearly every aspect of an employee’s pay – from minimum wage and overtime to application of most exemptions. Let’s break down this concept.
What is a workweek?
The FLSA regulations define workweek as “a fixed and regularly recurring period of 168 hours – seven consecutive 24-hour periods.” Contrary to popular belief, a workweek need not coincide with a calendar week, nor must it align with an employer’s hours of operation. Instead, it can begin on any day and at any hour of the day. However, the key is that once a workweek is determined, it must remain fixed regardless of the employees’ hours worked with limited exception.
Employers based outside of California can suffer knockout blows if they enter the ring as employers in California and operate under the mistaken assumption that adherence to the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) is the same as complying with the California Labor Code and Wage Orders. Below are the main ways (but certainly not the only ways) employers are “caught cold” because they do not receive or apply California wage-and-hour training and learn the hard way that the plaintiffs’ bar will not pull any punches.
Our colleague Michael S. Kun at Epstein Becker Green was recently quoted in SHRM, in “Distinctions Among Class, Collective and Representative Actions Make a Difference,” by Allen Smith.
Following is an excerpt:
The terms “class,” “collective” and “representative” actions sometimes are bandied about as though they were the same thing, but they have distinct meanings that employers benefit from understanding. This article, the second in a series, examines the differences among these types of lawsuits and practical ramifications, such as how an employer might seek early resolution, as well as how certification of a class or collective action affects whether an employer’s attorney may speak with plaintiffs.