On October 13, 2022, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (the Proposed Rule) that provides guidance on determining employee or independent contractor classification under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Proper classifications are significant because independent contractors are not afforded wage-and-hour protections under the FLSA and/or applicable state law, such as minimum wage for all hours worked or overtime compensation for over 40 hours worked in one workweek. Misclassification can subject companies and organizations to class and collective actions and expose them to significant liability.

Continue Reading US Department of Labor Proposes Independent Contractor Rule

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

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

On October 18, 2021, Plaintiff Ysa Santana Reynoso (Reynoso), a former employee of pork processor Hatfield Quality Meats, Inc. (Hatfield), filed a class action lawsuit before a state court in Pennsylvania against Hatfield seeking unpaid wages under the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act (PMWA) for time spent undergoing mandatory COVID-19 screenings.

Continue Reading Employee Asserts Claims of Uncompensated COVID-19 Screening Practice

In October 2019, Ralph “Trey” Johnson filed a putative class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and a number of universities alleging that college student-athletes are employees who are entitled to pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Judge John R. Padova ordered the parties to submit supplemental briefing on the Defendants’ Motions to Dismiss in light of the Supreme Court’s June 21, 2021 opinion in National Collegiate Athletic Association v. Alston. The Alston decision held that the NCAA could not bar certain education-related benefits (such as tutors or computers) and left open the door for a direct challenge to the NCAA’s prohibition on paying athletes.
Continue Reading Student Athletes Oppose Motion to Dismiss FLSA Claims in Light of Supreme Court’s Alston Opinion