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

The state of California’s current minimum wage is $15.00 per hour for employers that have 26 or more employees and $14.00 per hour for employers that have fewer than 26 employees. However, California cities and counties routinely implement their own minimum wage requirements and five such localities—Pasadena, Los Angeles County, the City of Los Angeles, Emeryville, and San Francisco—will be increasing their minimum wage rates, effective July 1, 2022 Continue Reading Five California Localities Raise Minimum Wage Rates Effective July 1, 2022

In February 2022, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California denied defendant park operators’ motion to dismiss in part, finding that plaintiffs adequately pleaded joint defender liability along with their claims for meal and rest break violations, but granted without leave to amend plaintiffs’ claims for minimum and overtime wages and inaccurate wage statements. Plaintiffs’ second amended complaint alleges, among other things, that the “spread-out structure” of defendants’ facilities and the “practice of understaffing these facilities” impeded plaintiffs from taking rest breaks, that defendants did not schedule sufficient employees to relieve nonexempt employees during their meal and rest breaks, and that plaintiffs “often” worked overtime hours, but were not paid for all overtime hours worked. Continue Reading Eastern District of California Finds Joint Employer Liability Sufficiently Alleged and Permits Meal and Rest Break Claims to Proceed

This month the United States Department of Labor (DOL) issued a press release announcing its Warehouse and Logistics Worker Initiative (Initiative). See https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/whd/whd20220208-1. The purpose of the Initiative is to increase the DOL’s scrutiny of the warehouse and logistics industry’s practices. Specifically, the Initiative is focused on ensuring that workers:

  • Receive all legally earned wages, including minimum wage and overtime pay;
  • Work in an environment safe from harassment and retaliation; and
  • Are not prevented from taking legally protected leave.

Continue Reading Department of Labor Announces Initiative to Monitor Warehouse and Logistics Worker Pay