The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on August 30, 2023, which proposes revisions to the regulations issued under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The proposed rule seeks to increase the federal minimum salary threshold required for employees to qualify as exempt employees to roughly $55,000 per year.Continue Reading Department of Labor Seeks To Raise the Federal Minimum Salary Required To Qualify as an Exempt Employee for Fair Labor Standards Act Purposes
Jill Ripke defends companies in employment and independent contractor class action matters dealing with claims relating to independent contractor status, misclassification, unpaid overtime, unpaid meal and rest breaks, and unpaid off-the-clock work.
A federal court in Arizona recently rejected a defense for Arizona employers seeking to avoid liability for unpaid wages under the Arizona Wage Act. In Arrison v. Walmart, the district court held that there is no “employer knowledge” requirement under the AWA, rejecting Walmart’s attempt to defeat an unpaid wages class action against the…
Effective January 1, 2024, California’s minimum wage will increase to $16.00 per hour for all employers, regardless of size. Under California’s Labor Code, by August 1 of each year, the director of finance will determine if the minimum wage must be adjusted for inflation and, if so, calculate the increase in minimum wage by the…
In the latest development in California’s evolving independent contractor laws, the Los Angeles City Council approved a new ordinance that provides protections for certain independent contractors providing services in Los Angeles. Beginning on July 1, 2023, the Freelance Worker Protections Ordinance (Ordinance) requires that any contract between a hiring entity and a freelance worker valued at $600 or more (either by itself or when combined with previous written or oral contracts between the parties in a given calendar year) be in writing and include, among other things: (1) an itemization of all services the freelance worker provides, (2) the value of the services to be provided pursuant to the contract, and (3) the date by which the entity must pay the contracted compensation or the manner by which that payment date will be determined. Under the Ordinance, a freelance worker is an individual natural person, or an entity whose interests are entirely held by and whose work is performed entirely by no more than one individual natural person. A hiring entity is defined as an entity regularly engaged in business or commercial activity, including a nonprofit business, but excluding companies that hire app-based transportation and delivery drivers to provide prearranged services.Continue Reading Freelance Worker Protections Ordinance for Independent Contractors in Los Angeles
On July 11, 2023, in Thai v. International Business Machines Corp. (IBM), a three-justice panel of the California First District Appellate Court overturned a trial court’s dismissal of a claim by an employee that the employer violated California law when it failed to reimburse employees for work-from-home expenses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Plaintiff and a putative class sought penalties under California Labor Code Section 2802, which requires employers to reimburse their employees for “all necessary expenditures or losses incurred by the employee in direct consequence of the discharge of his or her duties,” including that they sought the cost of equipment purchased, when they were ordered to work from home in 2020.Continue Reading California Appeals Court Rules Employer Must Reimburse Employees for Work-From-Home Expenses During COVID-19 Pandemic
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or the Board) issued a decision on June 16, 2023, returning to an Obama-era standard used to determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA or the Act). While employees have rights under the NLRA, independent contractors do not.
As reported earlier this year, California’s state minimum wage increased to $15.50 per hour for all employers on January 1, 2023. However, some California employers may face another minimum wage increase on July 1, 2023. This is due to the adoption by many cities and counties in California of their own local minimum wage rates above the California state minimum wage for employees working within their jurisdiction. If a locality provides a higher minimum wage rate than the state rate, the employer must pay the higher local wage rate.Continue Reading Minimum Wage Increases To Take Place on July 1, 2023, for Some California Localities
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, in Higgins v. Bayada Home Health Care Inc., held that it is not a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for an employer to deduct time from an exempt employee’s paid time off (PTO) bank for failing to meet a productivity target. The employer in the case had developed a point-based system to ensure that employees met certain “productivity minimums,” with various tasks being assigned a certain number of “productivity points.” When employees consistently exceeded their productivity minimums, they received additional compensation. When employees failed to meet their weekly productivity minimums, however, their available PTO was deducted. The employer did not deduct from an employee’s salary once PTO had been exhausted.Continue Reading Third Circuit Rules Paid Time Off Is Not Part of an Exempt Employee’s Salary
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit recently held in Clark v. A & L Homecare and Training Center, that plaintiffs must show a “strong likelihood” that other employees are “similarly situated” to the plaintiffs for a court to certify a Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) collective action and facilitate notice of the action. The “strong likelihood” standard has the potential to make it more difficult for plaintiffs to facilitate notice of their FLSA collective actions to other potential collective members.Continue Reading The Sixth Circuit Sets a New Standard for Notification of FLSA Collective Actions
The first phase of the District of Columbia Tip Credit Elimination Act of 2021 became effective May 1, 2023.
The Tip Credit Elimination Act, which was passed by voters in the District of Columbia in November 2022 as Initiative 82, will phase out Washington, D.C.’s tip credit for employers with employees who receive tips by 2027. To achieve this, the act provides that the minimum cash wage for tipped employees will gradually increase as the maximum tip credit available to employers decreases.Continue Reading District of Columbia Tip Credit Elimination Act Increases Cash Wage for Tipped Employees