Governor Gavin Newsom signed California’s Senate Bill 1162, a pay transparency law aimed at identifying pay disparities based on gender, ethnicity, and race, on September 27, 2022. The bill expands employers’ obligations to report pay data and requires certain employers to disclose salary ranges for employees and positions available to applicants.

Continue Reading California Governor Signs New Pay Data and Salary Disclosure Bill

On September 5, 2022, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed the Fast Food Accountability and Standards Recovery Act (FAST Recovery Act or A.B. 257). The FAST Recovery Act creates the Fast Food Council, responsible for establishing minimum standards for employees in the fast-food industry, including establishing minimum wages, working hours, and other working conditions related to health and safety in the fast-food industry. The FAST Recovery Act will take effect on January 1, 2023, and will become inoperative on January 1, 2029.

Continue Reading California’s FAST Recovery Act Establishes a Council With Broad Authority to Set Standards for Fast Food Workers

Employers with Michigan employees should remain vigilant to the likelihood of profound changes to the state’s wage-and-hour laws, including a new sick leave obligation, an increase in the minimum wage to $12.00 an hour, and a phase-out of the tipped employee wage classification. Pending the outcome of current litigation, these changes could take effect as soon as February 21, 2023.

On July 19, 2022, the Michigan Court of Claims[1] in Mothering Justice v. Nessel held that the state legislature’s amendment of two 2018 ballot initiatives was unconstitutional. The initiatives are the Improved Workforce Opportunity Wage Act (IWOWA) (the minimum wage law) and the Paid Medical Leave Act (PMLA), formerly the Earned Sick Time Act. Mothering Justice is currently stayed until February 20, 2023. On August 5, 2022, the Michigan attorney general filed a joint motion for expedited appeal. The Michigan Court of Appeals—and perhaps the state Supreme Court—will decide whether the IWOWA and the PMLA must be enacted as originally submitted to the legislature or as the legislature later amended them.

Continue Reading Michigan Wage and Hour Laws on the Move?

Determining an employee’s overtime rate of pay can be tricky. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently found an employer owed over $1 million in back wages to employees in California and Kentucky for violations that included miscomputation of overtime pay rates. The employer failed to account for certain bonuses earned by nonexempt workers, and therefore paid overtime rates that were too low.

Continue Reading Giving a Nondiscretionary Bonus? Check the Regular Rate Calculation

What Is COVID-19 Hazard Pay?

The COVID-19 pandemic motivated many employers to provide extra wages, often referred to as “hazard pay,” to employees who continued to work throughout the pandemic, despite the threats created by the virus, particularly pre-vaccine. Hazard pay is provided both to incentivize employees to work in potentially hazardous conditions and to compensate those individuals for the additional risks they assume.

Continue Reading COVID-19 Hazard Pay and Overtime Violations

Legal, political, and social movements have pushed pay equity to the top of many organizations’ priorities. Activist shareholder proposals, changes in state laws, Biden administration efforts, and calls from employees regarding greater transparency have spurred employers to find out where they stand. In this episode of Workplace Rules, Senior Counsel Chris Wilkinson, who previously served as associate solicitor for civil rights and labor management at the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), is joined by Cary Elliott, director at Resolution Economics, and Tammy Dowley-Blackman, CEO of Tammy Dowley-Backman Group, LLC to discuss the latest on pay equity topics.

Listen to “Today’s Pay Equity Landscape” on Spreaker.

On May 23, 2022, the California Supreme Court issued a seminal opinion in Naranjo v. Spectrum Security Services, Inc., which found that employees can recover penalties for failure to timely pay wages at termination and failure to provide accurate itemized wage statements based on untimely paid or unreported meal and rest period premiums. Prior to the court’s decision in Naranjo, employers frequently argued meal and rest period premiums did not constitute “wages” and thus did not subject employers to waiting time penalties or penalties for wage statement violations. Such arguments no longer hold water. Read the full article on PerkinsCoie.com

On January 15, 2022, the New York City Council (the Council) enacted a law requiring employers in the city with four or more employees to disclose the expected salary range on internal and external job listings beginning on May 15, 2022.

Continue Reading Show Me the Money: New York City’s Pay Transparency Law Delayed Until November 1, 2022

Late payment of final compensation just became significantly more expensive for employers with workers in Massachusetts. In an opinion on April 4, 2022, Reuter v. City of Methuen, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held that companies that fail to pay wages owed to employees on the day of their termination may be liable for up to triple the amount of the previously owed wages.

These treble damages are based on principles of strict liability, meaning that they can be applied regardless of the intent of the employer or how quickly it corrects the error. The decision marks a major departure from what has been the prevailing interpretation since 2003. Read the full article on PerkinsCoie.com

Among employers’ efforts to stay on top of numerous wage and hour issues, the rules surrounding child labor have long been considered irrelevant by many large employers because persons under age 18 did not make up a significant segment of their workforce. With acute labor shortages throughout the United States leading to more job openings than job seekers, particularly at the entry level, this is changing. On March 29, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a press release to highlight some of its recent investigations and remind employers of regulations and limitations related to the employment of youth. Continue Reading Department of Labor Warns Employers to Know the Rules for Putting Minors to Work