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

The California Court of Appeal recently held that an employer whose wage statements did not comply with section 226 of the California Labor Code was not subject to the heightened penalties imposed on employers who fail to provide wage statements or keep required records. Continue Reading California Court of Appeal Declines to Apply Heightened Penalties to Wage Statement Violations

On Jan. 27, 2022, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed House Bills 1732 and 1733, amending the Long-Term Services and Supports Trust Act, known as the Washington Cares Fund (the Act), and delaying implementation of the Act to July 1, 2023. Continue Reading Washington Postpones Collection of Long-Term Care Employee Premiums to July 2023

On January 20, 2022, members of the California Assembly voted 43-13 to approve amendments to Assembly Bill 257, which seeks to enact the Fast Food Accountability and Standards Recovery Act (known as the “FAST Recovery Act”). Initially introduced on January 15, 2021, AB 257 would establish a Fast Food Sector Council (“Council”) charged with establishing sectorwide “minimum standards on wages, working hours, and other working conditions related to the health, safety, and welfare of, and supplying the necessary cost of proper living to, fast food restaurant workers, as well as effecting interagency coordination and prompt agency responses in this regard.” Continue Reading California Assembly Amends FAST Recovery Act Proposal

On December 17, Washington Governor Jay Inslee, Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig, and House Speaker Laurie Jinkins issued a joint statement that included the Governor’s intention to direct the State’s Employment Security Department not to collect WA Cares Fund premiums that employers were to start withholding on January 1, 2022 and clear recognition by state lawmakers of a “pause” on premium collections by employers.

Read the full post on our sister blog, Employee Benefits.

While President Biden’s vaccine mandate wends its way through the courts, another of the administration’s early initiatives impacting federal contractors is set to go into effect early next year.

On November 22, 2021, the Department of Labor (DOL) published its Final Rule implementing Executive Order 14026, which raises the minimum wage requirement for anyone working “on or in connection with” a covered federal contract from $10.95 to $15.00 per hour. The new minimum will also increase annually, starting January 1, 2023, to an amount determined by the Secretary of Labor based on inflation. The published rule explains that employees perform “on” a contract if they directly perform the specific services called for by the contract and perform “in connection with” a contract if their work activities are otherwise necessary to the performance of the contract. Employees performing “in connection with” covered contracts are excluded from coverage if they spend less than 20% of their work hours in a particular workweek doing covered work. Continue Reading Minimum Wage Increases to $15 for Federal Contractors Beginning January 30, 2022