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Senior Counsel Paul E. Smith serves as a trusted advisor to his clients, counseling on traditional labor law as well as a full range of labor and employment issues. He has extensive experience working on noncompete disputes, major restructurings, and wage-and-hour, disability, discrimination, and harassment matters.

Recently, two District of Arizona opinions—Hoffman v. Pride Security LLC, 2024 WL 579072, and Stanfield v. LaSalle Corrections West LLC, 2024 WL 2271869—departed from prior District of Arizona case law regarding judicial approval of settlements under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).Continue Reading Recent District of Arizona Opinions Depart From Prior District of Arizona Case Law Regarding Judicial Approval of Fair Labor Standards Act Settlements

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

The Arizona Court of Appeals recently held in Papias v. Parker Fasteners LLC that a discharged employee could proceed with his retaliation claim against his former employer. The employee alleged that he had been terminated when he attempted to use earned paid sick time under Arizona’s Fair Wage and Healthy Family Act.

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Recently, in Matthews v. City of Tempe, 2023 WL 6880652, the Arizona Federal District Court considered whether an employer discriminated against a former employee when it denied him an opportunity to telecommute on certain days but allowed female employees to take advantage of remote work.

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In August 2023, the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona joined “the growing number of courts that have concluded” that judicial approval of Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) settlements “is neither authorized or necessary.” In Evans v. Centurion Managed Care of Arizona LLC[1], the plaintiff asserted individual claims under the FLSA for unpaid overtime and failure to pay minimum wages. Following the parties’ settlement of the plaintiff’s claims on an individual basis, the parties moved for approval of the settlement, submitting to the court a redacted version of the settlement agreement and a joint motion to file portions of the settlement agreement, including the settlement amount, under seal.Continue Reading District of Arizona Addresses Judicial Approval of Individual Fair Labor Standards Act Settlements

Employers with Michigan employees should remain vigilant to the likelihood of profound changes to the state’s wage-and-hour laws, including a new sick leave obligation, an increase in the minimum wage to $12.00 an hour, and a phase-out of the tipped employee wage classification. Pending the outcome of current litigation, these changes could take effect as soon as February 21, 2023.

On July 19, 2022, the Michigan Court of Claims[1] in Mothering Justice v. Nessel held that the state legislature’s amendment of two 2018 ballot initiatives was unconstitutional. The initiatives are the Improved Workforce Opportunity Wage Act (IWOWA) (the minimum wage law) and the Paid Medical Leave Act (PMLA), formerly the Earned Sick Time Act. Mothering Justice is currently stayed until February 20, 2023. On August 5, 2022, the Michigan attorney general filed a joint motion for expedited appeal. The Michigan Court of Appeals—and perhaps the state Supreme Court—will decide whether the IWOWA and the PMLA must be enacted as originally submitted to the legislature or as the legislature later amended them.Continue Reading Michigan Wage and Hour Laws on the Move?