Wage and Hour Policies

Let me be the millionth person to say that we are living in unprecedented times.

Well, unless you count the Spanish Flu, which few of us probably dealt with as that was more than a century ago.

And, not incidentally, few if any of the wage-hour laws employers deal with today were in place back

With summer rapidly approaching and COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders still in effect, many companies face an important and difficult decision of canceling this year’s summer programs, delaying start dates or conducting programs virtually. This ultimately will be a business decision with no one-size-fits-all answer.

A good first step is to assess whether the influx of new summer workers will help or hinder current operations. Are temporary summer interns a boost to productivity or a drag on experienced employees who may be called upon to train and mentor them? Will the employer expect to offer employment to these summer recruits following the internship?

In addition, given the seismic nature of COVID-19 that has indiscriminately shaken businesses in most industries, can an employer’s business afford to bring on temporary summer workers and, if so, does the business have the literal and figurative bandwidth to support these workers, especially if they will be teleworking for at least part of the summer?

Below are five compliance and management issues employers should consider for their upcoming summer programs.

Onboarding

Typically employers have a pre-employment screening process in place for summer interns/analysts/associates, which may include, among other things, screening for illegal drugs and controlled substances; investigating and verifying criminal history; and verifying education and prior employment history. Many steps in the screening process take place in person. However, even where new hires may be asked to commence employment remotely, including an incoming summer class, compliance is still possible.

Since the start of COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government has relaxed many of the regulatory requirements for onboarding new hires. On March 20, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced that for the next 60 days or for the duration of the National Emergency (whichever is sooner), employers with staff teleworking due to COVID-19 can obtain and inspect new employees’ identity and employment authorization documents remotely rather in the employee’s physical presence, as long as they provide written documentation of their remote onboarding and teleworking policy for each employee.


Continue Reading The “Tele-Summer Job” Season – 5 Considerations for Employers

Generally, the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) requires employers to compensate their non-exempt employees for all time that they are required or allowed to perform work, regardless of where and when the work is done.  However, an exception exists for small amounts of time that are otherwise compensable work time but challenging to record, otherwise

California generally requires that, when employees accrue vacation time during their employment, any accrued but unused vacation time must be paid out at the end of employment.  But so-called “unlimited” vacation policies have generally been understood to be a potential exception to that rule.  Such “unlimited” policies are more accurately referred to as “professional” or

As previously discussed, Colorado officially adopted the Colorado Overtime and Minimum Pay Standards Order # 36 (“COMPS Order”) on January 22, 2020, which went into effect on March 16, 2020.  However, the Division of Labor Standards and Statistics in the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (“the Division”) has recently implemented temporary emergency modifications

Given the number of states that have already ordered the closure of non-essential businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, employers fortunate to remain operational are likely dealing with the myriad challenges of a remote workforce.

As we previously wrote here, employers with work-from-home (“WFH”) policies in place need to make sure they are appropriately

In an effort to slow the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”), many employers around the country are encouraging—if not requiring—their employees to work remotely.  Although telecommuting during a public health crisis presents obvious benefits, it also presents employers with unique challenges, such as ensuring compliance with applicable expense reimbursement laws.

Employees working

Our colleagues Jeffrey H. Ruzal, Denise M. Dadika, Maxine H. Neuhauser, and Eduardo J. Quiroga have co-authored an Act Now Advisory that will be of interest to our readers: “Department of Labor Issues OSHA, Wage/Hour, and FMLA Guidance Addressing COVID-19.”

Following is an excerpt:

In response to the spreading 2019 novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”)

Recently, we wrote here about a federal court order requiring DoorDash to conduct more than 5,000 individual arbitrations under the terms of its mandatory arbitration agreements, with each arbitration to address claims that it had misclassified its drivers as independent contractors.

The order would fall in the category of “Be Careful What You Wish For.” 

We encourage our readers to visit Workforce Bulletin, the newest blog from our colleagues at Epstein Becker Green (EBG).

Workforce Bulletin will feature a range of cutting-edge issues—such as sexual harassment, diversity and inclusion, pay equity, artificial intelligence in the workplace, cybersecurity, and the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on human resources—that are of concern