Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division issued two new opinion letters which clarify how employers should calculate the overtime rate when employees are paid lump-sum bonuses and when employers can pay consultants on a per project basis while avoiding overtime requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). While DOL Opinion Letters are not … Continue Reading
Employers who compensate non-exempt employees based on the “fluctuating work week” method, take note. Last month, the Department of Labor issued a proposed rule that would permit employers to supplement the salaries of such employees with additional non-overtime payments, such as bonuses and other incentive pay. This is great news for employers and employees, and here is why.… Continue Reading
Last month, New York City joined an emerging national trend toward increased protections for independent contractors and freelance workers, adopting a new law, Int. 136-A, extending to independent contractors and freelancers the protections afforded to employees under the city’s Human Rights Law (NYCHRL).
Effective January 11, 2020, the NYCHRL will apply to employers that employ four or more persons – … Continue Reading
Employers in the hospitality and restaurant industry are poised for celebration: the Department of Labor (DOL) has proposed eliminating a rule that requires tracking the time tipped employees devote to non-tip producing activities when counting employees’ tips toward the employer’s minimum wage obligations. The DOL has taken the position that employers cannot claim a tip credit if a tipped employee … Continue Reading
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued its long-awaited Final Rule stating that all employees who make less than $684 a week, or $35,568 per year, must earn overtime pay. This new requirement replaces the current threshold of $465 per week, or $23,660 per year, set in 2004. This increase in the standard salary level requires an immediate review of … Continue Reading
The EEOC portal is now open and employers who had 100 or more employees in 2017 or 2018 have until September 30, 2019 to submit the earnings and hours data required by the new Component 2 part of the EEO-1 form. As we have previously reported here the EEO-1 form was revised to require employers with 100 or more employees … Continue Reading
Illinois employers must be cognizant of new Illinois laws including bans on salary history inquiries, restrictions on artificial intelligence interview programs, mandatory sexual harassment prevention training, limitations on non-disclosure and arbitration provisions, increasing minimum wage, implications of the new cannabis law and, within the City of Chicago, predictive scheduling.
Workplace Transparency Act (WTA)
Effective January 1, 2020
The WTA’s purpose … Continue Reading
Employers looking for guidance on payroll rounding practices, classification of certain highly compensated paralegals and calculating overtime where employees receive non-discretionary bonuses will be glad to know the Department of Labor has issued three new Opinion Letters on those subjects. DOL Opinion Letters are issued by the Wage and Hour Division of the DOL and offer insight into the DOL’s … Continue Reading
Professional Employer Organizations, franchisors, business advisors, and staffing agencies should take a close look at their contracts if the Department of Labor’s proposed new standard for what constitutes a joint employer becomes final. The proposed rule implements a new four-factor test to evaluate whether a joint employer relationship exists.
The DOL’s proposed rule reflects the new administration’s narrower perspective of … Continue Reading
Recent legislation in Colorado and Minnesota imposes harsh criminal penalties—including potential felony convictions—for the failure to pay wages. To limit their exposure under these strict new laws, employers with operations in either state should familiarize themselves with these upcoming changes.
Colorado Increases Criminal Penalties under the Wage Claim Act
On May 16, 2019, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed HB 19-1267, … Continue Reading
According to recent guidance issued by the DOL and NLRB, workers in the so-called “gig,” “on-demand,” or “sharing” economy are independent contractors, not employees. This represents a significant departure from Obama-era policy and is expected to have significant consequences for both employers and workers in that sector.… Continue Reading
“Fair workweek” laws are sweeping the nation, bringing new challenges for employers. Also referred to as “predictable scheduling,” “advanced scheduling,” or “secure scheduling laws,” these laws typically require larger employers in restaurant and retail industries to provide employees with advanced schedules and “predictability pay” if schedules are changed after a certain time period before an employee’s shift. … Continue Reading
Job descriptions can be a shield or a sword for employers. In addition to setting clear job expectations, informing candidates of what the job entails, and providing a framework for evaluations, they are often used in litigation arising from workplace claims.
Job descriptions can be critical in litigating actions under the Fair Labor Standard Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act … Continue Reading
Employers may need to begin collecting pay and hours data to report on EEO-1 forms, now that a federal district judge revived the controversial requirement put in place during the Obama administration. During that administration, the EEO-1 form was revised to require employers with 100 or more employees to report earnings and hours worked within 12 pay bands, in addition … Continue Reading
Exempt employees would have to be paid a minimum annual salary of $35,308 in order to be exempt from the overtime and record keeping requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act, under the Department of Labor’s long-awaited proposed new rule. The proposed new salary threshold represents almost a 50% increase over the current threshold of $23,660 but is substantially less … Continue Reading
While certain sales employees are exempt from minimum wage and overtime requirements under federal and state laws, others are not. Getting it wrong can be a costly mistake, so employers are well advised to ensure their salespeople are properly classified.
The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provides that employees engaged in “outside sales” are exempt from overtime, but those … Continue Reading
Employers are no longer barred from taking the tip credit for tipped employees who spend more than 20% of their time doing non-tipped activities, according to a new U.S. Department of Labor opinion letter doing away with the so-called “80/20 rule.” As restaurant and hospitality employers are aware, the tip credit provision in the Fair Labor Standards Act permits an … Continue Reading
A restaurant advocacy group has sued the Department of Labor challenging its “80/20 Rule,” which limits the use of a tip credit wage where workers spend more than 20% of their time doing work not directly related to tip-generating activities.
The Restaurant Law Center, a public policy affiliate of the National Restaurant Association and the Texas Restaurant Association, has filed … Continue Reading
Buried in the 2,232 page omnibus budget bill recently signed by President Trump was an important change regarding the use of tip pools. Employers who do not take a tip credit are not required to police their employees to determine if their tip pool includes “back of the house” employees, which would have previously been unlawful. However, an employer may … Continue Reading
Employers will once again have another source of guidance on wage and hour issues from the U. S. Department of Labor, which last month reinstated the practice of issuing opinion letters. The DOL stopped issuing opinion letters during the Obama administration, and instead switched to a practice of offering Administrator’s Interpretations (AI), which have broader applicability. Employers, who can rely … Continue Reading
Employers who would like to work with the Department of Labor to correct potential wage and hour violations before they get sued may get their wish: the DOL has launched a Payroll Audit Independent Determination (PAID) program. The agency has invited all employers covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act to consider participating in this six-month pilot program. However, … Continue Reading
Employers may have a bit more flexibility in determining which employees are exempt from overtime following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling issued this week that specifically rejected the decades-old principle that exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) should be “narrowly construed.” In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled in Encino Motor Cars, LLC v. Navarro that an … Continue Reading
Good news for restaurant employers: the regulation that says tips belong to the employee – regardless of whether the employer takes the tip credit or pays the full minimum wage — may soon be history. Last week, the Department of Labor took another step toward rescinding the 2011 regulation by submitting a proposed rule to the Office of Management and … Continue Reading
Thousands of Florida coastal residents were ordered to evacuate last week in anticipation of Hurricane Irma, even as their employers remained open. A pizza restaurant manager made headlines when he threatened action against employees who chose to miss shifts to evacuate. Other employers instructed employees not to report and planned to close their offices part of this week. What are … Continue Reading