Law and the Workplace
Allan Bloom

Allan Bloom

Allan Bloom is a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department and co-head of the Wage and Hour Practice Group. Allan is an experienced trial lawyer who represents management in a broad range of employment and labor law matters. He has successfully defended a number of the world’s leading financial services, investment management, technology, consumer products, telecommunications, publishing, insurance, construction, and lodging companies, as well as global law firms and cultural institutions, against claims for unpaid wages, employment discrimination, breach of contract, and wrongful discharge, both at the trial and appellate court levels.

Allan has secured complete defense verdicts for clients in front of juries as well as in bench trials, in cases involving allegations of age, disability (actual and perceived), national origin, race, and sex discrimination; harassment/hostile work environment; failure to provide reasonable accommodations; and retaliation.

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SCOTUS Denies Cert in Regular Rate Case; Ninth Circuit Decision Requiring Overtime on “Cash-in-Lieu” of Benefits Stands

Even the Supreme Court doesn’t want to talk about the regular rate of pay. The City of San Gabriel, California, provides a flexible benefits plan to its employees under which they receive a designated monetary amount to be used to purchase medical, vision, and dental benefits. Employees can decline to purchase medical benefits (say, because … Continue Reading

Philadelphia Delays Implementation of Ordinance Restricting Employer Inquiries Into Applicants’ Salary History Following Legal Challenge

Philadelphia has indefinitely delayed implementation of its new ordinance that that will make it unlawful for employers to inquire into an applicant’s wage history during the hiring process. As we previously reported, the law was scheduled to take effect on May 23, 2017.  However, on April 6, 2017, the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia … Continue Reading

New York Regulations on Wage Payment Methods Declared Invalid

As we previously reported, on September 7, 2016, the New York State Department of Labor (“NYSDOL”) published final regulations on the methods by which employees must be paid, including with respect to direct deposit of wages and payroll debit cards.  These regulations–to be codified in 12 NYCRR Part 192–were scheduled to take effect on March … Continue Reading

Trump DOL Presses Pause Button on Appeal of Overtime Rule Injunction

Remember the new federal overtime rule that was going to double the minimum salary for the “white collar” exemptions?  In November, a Texas district court issued a nationwide injunction preventing the rule from taking effect.  The DOL successfully petitioned the Fifth Circuit for an expedited appeal of the injunction in December, and briefing was to … Continue Reading

Philadelphia The Latest To Restrict Employer Inquiries Into Applicants’ Salary History

The City of Philadelphia has passed an ordinance that will make it unlawful for employers to inquire into an applicant’s wage history during the hiring process.  The law, which amends the city’s current Fair Practices Ordinance, will take effect on May 23, 2017. The ordinance states that—absent a federal, state, or local law specifically authorizing the … Continue Reading

Appellate Division Rules That Paid Blogger Was Not An “Employee” Entitled To Unemployment Benefits, Signaling Trend Toward More Searching Judicial Review of Agency Decisions

One of the recurring themes in workplace law in 2016 was the continued crackdown on independent contractor misclassification.  Both federal and state agencies, as well as the plaintiffs’ bar, invested significant resources to challenge employers in the “gig economy”—as well as in more traditional businesses—that rely heavily on contractors, freelancers, and other third-party service providers. … Continue Reading

Texas Judge Denies DOL’s Motion to Stay District Court Overtime Litigation Pending Appeal

Earlier today Judge Amos Mazzant of the Eastern District of Texas denied the motion of the U.S. Department of Labor to stay further district court proceedings in the overtime litigation.  The DOL had asked the district court—which has already issued a preliminary injunction blocking the DOL’s new overtime rule from taking effect—to refrain from taking … Continue Reading

New York Finalizes New Wage Orders, Raising Minimum Salary Levels for Exemption

The New York State Department of Labor formally adopted new wage orders today that raise the weekly salary thresholds for exemption as an executive or administrative employee from the current $675 per week ($35,100 annually) to new levels that differ based on employer size and location. Effective December 31, 2016, the new salary thresholds in … Continue Reading

New York’s New Wage Orders, Raising Minimum Salaries for Exemption, Could Take Effect December 31

The New York State Department of Labor is still sitting on proposed new wage orders that raise the weekly salary thresholds for exemption as an executive or administrative employee from the current $675 per week ($35,100 annually) to up to $825 per week ($42,900) for employers with eleven or more employees in New York City.  … Continue Reading

Winter Is Coming—Wage and Hour Considerations During Weather-Related Emergencies

With winter storms around the corner, it’s the right time to revisit employer rights and responsibilities during a weather-related emergency or other major disruption.  We discuss below some typical scenarios that you are likely to face during weather-related or other emergencies, and the consequences under the wage and hour laws. “Our office was closed for … Continue Reading

Portland, Oregon Adopts First-of-Its-Kind CEO Pay Ratio Tax on Employers

The Portland, Oregon City Council has passed an ordinance that will impose a tax surcharge on publicly traded companies whose chief executive officers are paid at least 100 times more than the median pay of other company employees. Portland is the first locality in the nation to enact such a requirement. The law, which passed by … Continue Reading

Recovery of Liquidated Damages Under Both FLSA and State Law Improper, Says Second Circuit

In a summary order issued on December 7, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit–in Chowdhury v. Hamza Express Food Corp., No. 15‐3142‐cv–held that an award of liquidated damages under both the Fair Labor Standards Act and the New  York Labor Law with respect to the same violation was improper: [The Labor Law] does … Continue Reading

NYC Council Introduces Suite of Worker Protection Bills, In Likely Sign of Things to Come

As we noted in an earlier post, the election of Donald J. Trump likely means that states and municipalities—and not the federal government—will lead the charge on worker-protection issues for the next four years.  In this vein, the New York City Council introduced a series of bills on December 6 aimed at tightening restrictions and … Continue Reading

Federal Court Blocks DOL Overtime Rule

A federal judge in Texas has enjoined the new overtime rule on a nationwide basis. Specifically, the U.S. Department of Labor is enjoined from “implementing and enforcing” the new rule (which would have raised the minimum salary for most exempt executive, administrative, and professional employees to $913 per week, among other things). The judge noted … Continue Reading

What’s Next for Traditional Labor with President-Elect Trump in Office?

President-elect Trump’s strong base with blue collar workers helped him win yesterday’s election, despite significant union backing for Hillary Clinton during the campaign. Trump has not, however, revealed details on how he plans to address issues of interest to the unionized workforce beyond backing out of international trade treaties, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and enticing … Continue Reading

Wage and Hour Implications with President-Elect Trump

Aside from proposing potential carve-outs for small businesses under the new overtime rules that go into effect on December 1, 2016 and supporting six weeks of paid maternity leave, President-elect Trump has not discussed in significant detail how, if at all, he plans to address issues involving workers’ rights.  However, it is possible to predict … Continue Reading

30 Days Until New Overtime Rules Take Effect

The new overtime rules—requiring a minimum weekly salary of $913 ($47,476 annually) for most exempt executive, administrative, or professional employees—are scheduled to take effect on December 1. Remember that both overtime pay (for non-exempt employees) and the salary basis test (for exempt employees) are calculated on a workweek basis, and that each workweek–a fixed and regularly … Continue Reading

Yoga Instructors Can Be Independent Contractors, Says NY Court of Appeals

Earlier this week, the New York State Court of Appeals in Yoga Vida NYC, Inc. v. Commissioner of Labor., No. 130 (N.Y. Oct. 25, 2016), issued a rare decision concerning an unemployment determination, reversing the Appellate Division and concluding that the employer yoga studio did not exercise sufficient control over certain of its instructors to create … Continue Reading

Mayor Signs Into Law NYC Bill Protecting Freelance Workers, Effective May 15, 2017

On November 16, 2016, NYC Mayor De Blasio signed into law the Freelance Isn’t Free Act, a local law (No. 1017-2015) establishing protections for freelance workers. The law, amending Title 10 of the N.Y.C. Administrative Code, establishes and enhances protections for freelance workers, including the right to receive a written contract, the right to be … Continue Reading
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