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

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

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

On April 16, 2021, Governor Jay Inslee signed into law the Washington Wage Recovery Act, allowing employees to place a lien on their employers’ property to secure unpaid wages.

The purpose of the law is to provide employees with another tool to secure their unpaid wages. Currently, Washington employees must wait until resolution of a civil demand or lawsuit or an investigation by a governmental agency to receive payment of unpaid wages. With the Washington Wage Recovery Act, employees can now hold a security interest in their employers’ property while they wait for resolution. Washington joins several other states that also have broad wage lien provisions, including Wisconsin, Maryland, Indiana, and Tennessee.

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The Biden presidency has become a focus of employers who are looking to see what policy and enforcement priorities will come out of the federal Department of Labor. In addition, the pandemic has placed a spotlight on low-wage workers and the policies that affect them. As the administration has passed the 100-day mark, we expect to see a strong focus on wage and hour issues at the federal level as the government ramps up additional resources and hires key personnel to fulfill its objectives. Continue Reading Biden Administration’s Strong Policy and Enforcement the Focus of Employers

California’s state minimum wage increased on January 1, 2021 but some California localities have minimum wage ordinances which are higher than the state minimum wage. In addition, some California localities have updates to their minimum wage rates as of July 1, 2021 which include: Continue Reading California Local Minimum Wage Increases July 1, 2021

On May 25, 2021, the Illinois General Assembly approved an amendment to the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act (the Act). If approved by Governor J.B. Pritzker, the change would require employers who violate the Act to pay damages of 5% of the amount of any underpayment of wages, compensation, or wage supplements for each month following the date of payment during which the amount(s) owed remain unpaid. The new 5% penalty would represent a 150% increase to the existing 2% penalty. Continue Reading Illinois Nears 150% Increase to Wage and Hour Penalty

Although the Department of Labor (DOL) has yet to issue the regulations regarding the FFCRA, this week, the DOL issued guidance for employers who are subject to the paid leave requirements of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The Wage & Hour Division’s website, COVID-19 and the American Workplace, contains links to various Fact Sheets, Q&A documents, the required posters to be displayed, and a Field Assistance Bulletin (2020-1). While some aspects of the DOL publications remain unclear, taken as a whole, these resources provide guidance for prudent employers seeking to navigate these complicated issues. Update, 3/26: On Thursday, March 26, the DOL issued revised documents, including updated posters to clarify rights and obligations consistent with the observations herein.

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