On September 27, 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill No. 1003 (AB 1003) into law. The purpose of AB 1003 is to make the intentional theft of wages punishable as grand theft under the California Penal Code and, therefore, a felony in California. Previously, violations of wage and gratuity provisions were classified as misdemeanors.
Continue Reading California Law Makes Intentional Wage Theft a Jailable Offense

In Port of Tacoma v. Sacks, the Court of Appeals of the State of Washington recently held that all out-of-town employee travel time is compensable under state law. The decision confirms the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries’ (L&I) interpretation that all travel time related to work is compensable, regardless of when it

In an unpublished opinion, the Ninth Circuit held that an employer is not required to pay employees for time spent undergoing government-required security checks enforced by a governmental body to access the worksite.

Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Says Time Spent in Airport Security Lines Is Not Compensable Work Time

On July 29, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) rescinded a final rule issued under the Trump administration that had narrowed the definition of a vertical joint employment relationship under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). There will be a greater likelihood that joint employment relationships will be found after the rescission takes effect on September 28, 2021.
Continue Reading Department of Labor Rescinds Joint Employer Test Under the FLSA

Did you know that July 29 was National Intern Day? Well, Washington’s Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) does and, in recognition, L&I recently released a bulletin reminding employers that sometimes a so-called intern is actually just another employee.
Continue Reading No Such Thing as a Paid Intern, Says Washington State Department of Labor & Industries

In California, the “regular rate of pay” is a term of art. Calculating it is not necessarily straightforward and much of the law in this area is counterintuitive, so employers should familiarize themselves with the basics to prevent missteps that can result in significant derivative penalties. An employee’s regular rate of pay provides the basis for overtime compensation and meal and rest period premium payments for nonexempt employees. Cal. Lab. Code § 510; Ferra v. Loews Hollywood Hotel, LLC, S259172 (Cal. July 15, 2021). Employers sometimes erroneously believe that a nonexempt employee’s hourly wage is the employee’s regular rate of pay. While the regular rate of pay can sometimes be the same as an nonexempt employee’s hourly wage, the correct answer is often more complex, and a series of formulas is required to derive a rate capturing all renumeration for hours worked by an nonexempt employee. Here is a refresher on how an employer should derive an employee’s regular rate of pay for a few common compensation types on a weekly basis.
Continue Reading California “Regular Rate of Pay” Refresher

On July 21, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor announced a “ Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to establish standards and procedures to implement and enforce Executive Order 14026, ‘Increasing the Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors’, signed by President Biden on April 27, 2021.” The proposed rule would:
Continue Reading The U.S. Department of Labor Proposes an Increased Minimum Wage for Workers on Government Contracts

On July 15, 2021, the California Supreme Court decided Jessica Ferra v. Loews Hollywood Hotel, LLC, S259172 (Cal. S.Ct. July 15, 2021). The question before the Court was “whether the Legislature intended ‘regular rate of compensation’ under section 226.7(c) to have the same meaning as ‘regular rate of pay’ under section 510(a), such that the calculation of premium pay for a noncompliant meal, rest, or recovery period, like the calculation of overtime pay, must account for not only hourly wages but also other nondiscretionary payments for work performed by the employee.” Id. at 1.
Continue Reading California Supreme Court Rules Meal and Rest Period Premium Pay Is Calculated in the Same Manner as Calculations for Overtime Regular Rate of Pay

Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) insurance programs provide benefits to eligible employees who need time off work to care for themselves or their family members. The programs enacted to date are typically funded through premiums paid by employers and/or employees via deductions based upon wages or payroll taxes, although the funding mechanism varies from state to state. These contributions are paid as premiums to state agencies responsible for administering the programs. The programs generally provide wage replacement benefits for a particular number of weeks, depending on the purpose of the leave. The programs differ from state to state, and unless a uniform national program is adopted, employers face the difficult task of understanding and abiding by the requirements for each individual program.
Continue Reading Keep Track of the Many Paid Family and Medical Leave Programs Popping Up Across the Nation

On June 21, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to limit the amount of non-tip producing work that a tipped employee can perform when an employer is taking a tip credit. In other words, when an employee is working in a tipped occupation and the employee has performed a substantial amount of non-tipped labor (more than 20% or 30 consecutive minutes), the employer can no longer take a tip credit and must pay the full federal minimum wage to the worker.
Continue Reading Tips Anyone? The Department of Labor Proposed Changes to Tip Credits