The state of California’s current minimum wage is $15.00 per hour for employers that have 26 or more employees and $14.00 per hour for employers that have fewer than 26 employees. However, California cities and counties routinely implement their own minimum wage requirements and five such localities—Pasadena, Los Angeles County, the City of Los Angeles, Emeryville, and San Francisco—will be increasing their minimum wage rates, effective July 1, 2022 Continue Reading Five California Localities Raise Minimum Wage Rates Effective July 1, 2022

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

This month the United States Department of Labor (DOL) issued a press release announcing its Warehouse and Logistics Worker Initiative (Initiative). See https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/whd/whd20220208-1. The purpose of the Initiative is to increase the DOL’s scrutiny of the warehouse and logistics industry’s practices. Specifically, the Initiative is focused on ensuring that workers:

  • Receive all legally earned wages, including minimum wage and overtime pay;
  • Work in an environment safe from harassment and retaliation; and
  • Are not prevented from taking legally protected leave.

Continue Reading Department of Labor Announces Initiative to Monitor Warehouse and Logistics Worker Pay

The California Court of Appeal recently held that an employer whose wage statements did not comply with section 226 of the California Labor Code was not subject to the heightened penalties imposed on employers who fail to provide wage statements or keep required records. Continue Reading California Court of Appeal Declines to Apply Heightened Penalties to Wage Statement Violations

On Jan. 27, 2022, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed House Bills 1732 and 1733, amending the Long-Term Services and Supports Trust Act, known as the Washington Cares Fund (the Act), and delaying implementation of the Act to July 1, 2023. Continue Reading Washington Postpones Collection of Long-Term Care Employee Premiums to July 2023

On January 20, 2022, members of the California Assembly voted 43-13 to approve amendments to Assembly Bill 257, which seeks to enact the Fast Food Accountability and Standards Recovery Act (known as the “FAST Recovery Act”). Initially introduced on January 15, 2021, AB 257 would establish a Fast Food Sector Council (“Council”) charged with establishing sectorwide “minimum standards on wages, working hours, and other working conditions related to the health, safety, and welfare of, and supplying the necessary cost of proper living to, fast food restaurant workers, as well as effecting interagency coordination and prompt agency responses in this regard.” Continue Reading California Assembly Amends FAST Recovery Act Proposal

On December 17, Washington Governor Jay Inslee, Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig, and House Speaker Laurie Jinkins issued a joint statement that included the Governor’s intention to direct the State’s Employment Security Department not to collect WA Cares Fund premiums that employers were to start withholding on January 1, 2022 and clear recognition by state lawmakers of a “pause” on premium collections by employers.

Read the full post on our sister blog, Employee Benefits.

While President Biden’s vaccine mandate wends its way through the courts, another of the administration’s early initiatives impacting federal contractors is set to go into effect early next year.

On November 22, 2021, the Department of Labor (DOL) published its Final Rule implementing Executive Order 14026, which raises the minimum wage requirement for anyone working “on or in connection with” a covered federal contract from $10.95 to $15.00 per hour. The new minimum will also increase annually, starting January 1, 2023, to an amount determined by the Secretary of Labor based on inflation. The published rule explains that employees perform “on” a contract if they directly perform the specific services called for by the contract and perform “in connection with” a contract if their work activities are otherwise necessary to the performance of the contract. Employees performing “in connection with” covered contracts are excluded from coverage if they spend less than 20% of their work hours in a particular workweek doing covered work. Continue Reading Minimum Wage Increases to $15 for Federal Contractors Beginning January 30, 2022

The West Hollywood City Council unanimously approved a draft Ordinance establishing a citywide minimum wage and guaranteed leave during a November 3, 2021 City Council meeting that ended on November 4, 2021. The draft Ordinance can be found here and the City also issued a press release detailing the draft Ordinance.

The draft Ordinance sets forth the following phased minimum wage schedule:

Effective Date 01.01.2022 07.01.2022 01.01.2023
Hotel Employees $17.64 Determined by Cost of Living Adjustment
Estimated to be: $18.31
No Change
Employers of 50 or More $15.50 $16.50 $17.50
Employers of Less than 50 $15.00 $16.00 $17.00

Continue Reading West Hollywood Establishes Citywide Minimum Wage and Guaranteed Leave Provisions

Clarification Regarding Tip Pool Participation for Managers and Supervisors

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently clarified the rules under which managers and supervisors can participate in a mandatory tip pool. In a final rule effective November 23, 2021, the DOL clarified that managers and supervisors are permitted to contribute tips to a mandatory tip pool but may not receive tips from the pool. The rule also clarifies that managers or supervisors may keep a tip only when the tip is based on a service the manager or supervisor directly and “solely” provides. Thus, when managers or supervisors directly receive tips for services they directly and solely provide, an employer may allow them to keep those tips. Alternatively, the employer may require the manager or supervisor to share some portion of the tips with other eligible employees. Finally, the rule also confirms that employers that pay their tipped employees the full minimum wage and do not take a tip credit can impose a tip pooling arrangement that includes employees who do not regularly receive tips.

Clarification Regarding Dual Jobs

The DOL also issued a final rule, effective December 28, 2021. The DOL provides that “[u]nder the final rule, an employer can take a tip credit only when the tipped employee is performing tip-producing work or when the tipped employee is performing work that directly supports tip-producing work as long as the tipped worker does not spend a substantial amount of time doing tip-supporting work. The rule defines substantial amount of time as more than 20 percent of the hours worked during the employee’s workweek or a continuous period of time that exceeds 30 minutes.”

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Employers with tipped employees should contact experienced counsel with questions.