The city of Renton, Washington, finalized rules to implement Initiative 23-02 on May 31, 2024. The initiative was approved by Renton voters in February 2024 and codified within Chapter 5-28 and Section 5-5-4 of the Renton Municipal Code (the Ordinance). The Ordinance sets new labor standards for Renton employers, including a higher minimum wage, requirements for providing part-time employees with access to additional hours before hiring new employees, and certification requirements.

Read the full Update here.

As we previously reported here and here, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law SB 525, which provides a tiered approach for minimum wages for the state’s healthcare workers. The law was first supposed to go into effect on June 1, 2024, and was delayed until July 1, 2024. Due to continued budgetary issues, Governor Newsom signed SB-159, which pushes the effective date.

The effective date of the minimum wage increase depends on whether or not state revenues reach at least 3% more than the estimate officials have come up with between July and September. If revenues do not reach that minimum, California healthcare workers will not see wage increases until January 1, 2025.

California healthcare employers with questions about the minimum wage or the change in date should contact experienced counsel.

On June 18, 2024, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced an agreement to reform PAGA. As background, the California Fair Pay and Employer Accountability Act sought to make changes to PAGA through a November 2024 ballot initiative. Currently, PAGA allows allegedly aggrieved employees to file lawsuits to recover civil penalties on behalf of themselves, other employees, and the State of California for California Labor Code violations. If the legislation reflecting the agreement is passed and signed into law, the proponents of the ballot initiative have agreed to withdraw the ballot measure from the November ballot. 

Continue Reading California New Agreement on Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) Reform

Recent opinions issued in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona over the past few months—namely, Hoffman v. Pride Security LLC, 2024 WL 579072; Stanfield v. LaSalle Corrections West LLC, 2024 WL 2271869; and Rainford v. Freedom Financial Network LLC, 2024 WL 2942715 —have taken a divided approach regarding judicial approval of settlements under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Continue Reading Recent District of Arizona Opinions Divided Regarding Judicial Approval of Fair Labor Standards Act Settlements

As reported here, as of January 1, 2024, California’s state minimum wage increased to $16 per hour for all employers. This minimum wage rate applies to all employees, subject to a few limited exceptions (including additional requirements for certain specific industries such as fast food and healthcare).

California employers operating in certain localities should also determine whether their city or county maintains minimum wage rates for nonexempt employees separate from and above the state rate. If a locality provides a higher minimum wage rate than the state rate, the employer must pay the higher local rate.

Continue Reading Minimum Wage in Certain California Localities to Increase July 1, 2024

As we previously reported, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law SB 525, which provides a tiered approach for minimum wages for the state’s healthcare workers. Rather than go into effect on June 1, 2024, as originally planned, due to California’s budgetary issues, on May 31, 2024, Governor Newsom signed SB 828, which pushes the effective date of the minimum wage increase to July 1, 2024. No other changes to SB 525’s healthcare worker minimum wage law were made.

California healthcare employers with questions about the minimum wage or the change in date should contact experienced counsel.

On June 30, 2024, in Washington, D.C., the Wage Transparency Omnibus Amendment Act of 2023 (Act) will go into effect after surviving a 30-day congressional review period. With this Act, Washington, D.C., joins a growing group of jurisdictions with pay transparency laws, including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Nevada, New York, Rhode Island, and Washington. The Act is meant to assist the district’s efforts to address concerns and perceptions regarding income disparities.

The new law requires employers with at least one employee in Washington, D.C., to include pay ranges in job listings and disclose healthcare benefits information to applicants. The Act also prohibits employers from inquiring about an applicant’s salary history. For more details about the Act’s requirements and next steps for employers, please find Perkins Coie’s January 22, 2024, Wage and Hour update: Washington, D.C., Set To Enact Wage Transparency Law.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed into law Substitute House Bill 1905 on March 28, 2024, broadening the scope of Washington’s Equal Pay and Opportunities Act (EPOA).

Since 1943, the Washington EPOA prohibited sex- and gender-based pay discrimination. The new EPOA amendments expand the EPOA beyond gender, and the law now prohibits pay discrimination based on membership in any protected class. Protected classes under the 2024 EPOA include age, sex, gender, marital status, race, national origin, sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, presence of a disability, and more.

Read the full Update here.

Employers are increasingly using artificial intelligence (AI)-powered systems to monitor employee activities ranging from schedules and timecards to performance. In previous updates and podcasts, we have closely tracked the federal government’s efforts in these areas. Against this backdrop, the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division released a Field Assistance Bulletin addressing compliance risks posed by the use of AI under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and other federal labor standards. This guidance makes it clear that employers remain responsible for compliance with federal laws when adopting AI or other automated systems in the workplace. The bulletin cautions against heavy reliance on AI systems, saying a lack of human eyes could create a domino effect and lead to violations of federal wage and leave laws.

Read the full Update here.