In an important change, beginning on March 20, 2024, employees may file lawsuits, including class actions, against their employers for alleged violations of New York City’s Earned Safe and Sick Time Act (the Sick Leave Law), rather than having to rely on agency enforcement actions. Such lawsuits may be filed within two years after the date on which the employee “knew or should have known” of the alleged violation. As a reminder, the Sick Leave Law generally requires employers with between five and 99 employees to provide up to 40 hours of annual sick leave; employers with 100 or more employees must provide up to 56 hours of annual sick leave. Sick leave may be used for purposes including an employee’s own or a covered family member’s mental or physical illness or need for a medical diagnosis, care or treatment, or to obtain services in connection with family offense matters, sexual offenses, stalking, or human trafficking. This new private right of action highlights the importance of complying with the Sick Leave Law, including maintaining detailed policies, properly advising employees of their rights, and correctly administering policies and the law itself.

Update: Further to an earlier Tip, New York’s law prohibiting employers from requesting or requiring employees or job applicants to disclose the login credentials for their personal social media accounts took effect March 12, 2024. Employers should carefully review their practices, including recruiting and hiring procedures and training, to ensure compliance.

Read the full Update here.

Recently, the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona held in Castillo v. Spencer’s Air Conditioning & Appliance, Inc., 2024 WL 706939, that while the question of whether an entity is a joint employer under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a question of law, summary judgment was not appropriate because there were material disputed facts at issue in the analysis of the economic reality of an alleged joint employment relationship. 

Continue Reading Arizona District Court Denies Summary Judgment on Joint Employment Relationship Issue

Assembly Bill 1228 took effect on April 1, 2024, addressing, in part, the California fast food minimum wage law. However, on March 25, 2024, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 610 (AB 610), which added exceptions to the fast food minimum wage law.

Continue Reading New Exceptions to California Fast Food Minimum Wage Law

As previously reported, California law (AB 1228) will require fast food workers to be paid a minimum of $20 per hour effective April 1, 2024. The Labor Commissioner’s Office has posted a Fast Food Minimum Wage Frequently Asked Questions to address the new law. The FAQ provides that to qualify as an exempt employee, an employee must receive a salary of at least two times the state minimum wage and meet other specific requirements. The FAQ notes that for employees employed by a fast food restaurant, this means that the minimum salary amount is $83,200 starting on April 1, 2024. Further, a supplement to the minimum wage order should also be posted and can be found here. California employers with questions about AB 1228 should contact experienced counsel.

The California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) and the Labor Commissioner’s Office launched a program creating opportunities for local prosecutors to obtain funding for wage theft prosecutions. The program, called the Workers’ Rights Enforcement Grant, will provide eligible prosecutors with two annual grant awards of $8,550,000 each, for a total of $18 million. The first grant cycle is 2024 – 2025, and the second is 2025 – 2026.

Continue Reading California Launches $18 Million Program Intended for Wage Theft Investigation

The Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council issued a Proposed Rule, “Pay Equity and Transparency in Federal Contracting,” on January 30, 2024. The Proposed Rule would amend the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FARs), which apply to federal government commercial contracts to be principally performed in the United States and its territories. The rule imposes three new requirements on federal contractors and subcontractors.

Read the full Update here.

Certain construction workers and other employees in the construction industry must be paid the entire balance of accrued and unused paid sick leave if those workers separate from employment before they reach their 90th day of employment. This requirement, effective January 1, 2024, applies regardless of whether a worker’s separation is voluntary or involuntary.

Read the full Update here.

On January 12, 2024, Washington, D.C., joined the growing list of jurisdictions to enact wage transparency legislation when Mayor Muriel Bowser signed the Wage Transparency Omnibus Amendment Act of 2023 (the Act), formerly known as the Pay Scale and Benefits Disclosure Amendment Act. If the Act survives the 30-day congressional review period, during which Congress can vote to overrule it, the law will take effect June 30, 2024.

The new law applies to all employers with at least one employee in Washington, D.C. and requires employers 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.

Continue Reading Washington, D.C., Set To Enact Wage Transparency Law

On January 12, 2024, the Berkeley Fair Work Week Ordinance (Ordinance) became operative. As previously described, Berkeley, California, enacted an Ordinance that requires covered employers to provide work schedules to employees at least 14 calendar days in advance of a shift and provide 11 hours of rest between shifts, among other requirements.

Berkeley employers should determine if their business is a covered employer under the Ordinance and, if so, should prepare to comply with the requirements of the Ordinance. Berkeley has issued a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) document to assist employers in compliance. The FAQs provide further guidance on issues including covered employers, covered employees, the required advance notice of work schedules, right to rest, and predictability pay.

Berkeley employers are encouraged to contact experienced counsel with questions about Berkeley’s Fair Workweek Ordinance, any related policies and practices, or any other California wage-and-hour laws.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued their 2024 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical, or moving purposes. The applicable rates are as follows:

  • Business use. The rate for business use of a vehicle has increased to 67 cents per mile, up by 1 1/2 cents from the 2023 rate.
  • Medical or moving purposes. For those qualifying as active-duty members of the U.S. armed forces, the rate for medical or moving purposes is set at 21 cents per mile, a decrease of 1 cent from the previous year.
  • Charitable organizations. The rate for driving in service of charitable organizations remains unchanged from 2023 at 14 cents per mile.

Employers with questions about reimbursement should contact experienced counsel with questions.