Law and the Workplace

Category Archives: Wage and Hour

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DOL Withdraws Obama-Era Administrator’s Interpretations on Independent Contractors and Joint Employment

Employers across the U.S. were troubled by the sub-regulatory guidance issued by the DOL in 2015 and 2016 on independent contractors and joint employment.  Today, the DOL announced the withdrawal of that guidance (Administrator’s Interpretations No. 2015-01 (July 15, 2015, on independent contractors) and No. 2016-01 (Jan. 20, 2016, on joint employment)). As you may … Continue Reading

NYC Mayor Signs Into Law Suite of Retail and Fast Food Employee Protections

On May 30, 2017, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a bill package into law that will impose new restrictions on retail and fast food employers with regard to employee scheduling, hiring, and pay practices. The laws take effect on November 26, 2017. The “Fair Workweek” bills address issues including more predictable working schedules, … Continue Reading

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

New York City Council Approves Bill Restricting Employer Inquiries Into Applicants’ Salary History

The New York City Council has approved a bill that would make it unlawful for employers to inquire into or rely upon job applicants’ wage history during the hiring process, with limited exception.  The bill now goes before Mayor Bill de Blasio and, if signed, will become effective 180 days following signature. As we previously … Continue Reading

Connecticut Supreme Court Issues Important Clarification For Independent Contractor Test

On March 21, 2017, the Connecticut Supreme Court issued an important ruling, finding that an individual may be still considered an independent contractor under the state’s Unemployment Insurance Act even if he/she only provides services to one business or entity.  In so doing, the Connecticut Supreme Court reversed a decision by the Unemployment Insurance Board finding … 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

Montgomery County Minimum Wage Increase Vetoed

Yesterday (January 23, 2017), Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett vetoed legislation that the Montgomery County Council approved last week that would have increased the County’s minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2020. In our previous analysis of this development, we noted that such a veto was possible.  Despite the veto, the prospect of an … Continue Reading

Montgomery County Council Approves Increase In Minimum Wage to $15 Per Hour

On January 17, 2017, the Montgomery County Council approved legislation that would increase the County’s minimum wage to $15 per hour for employers with 26 or more employees by July 1, 2020, and for all other employers by 2022. The Council approved the bill, Human Rights and Civil Liberties – County Minimum Wage – Annual … Continue Reading

Proskauer’s Value Insights Survey is Now Live

Proskauer’s second Value Insights: Delivering Value in Labor and Employment Law survey is now live and we want to hear from you. Value Insights explores how in-house counsel can maximize the value they provide to their business partners and correspondingly, how they can most effectively partner with outside counsel on managing labor and employment work. … 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

Fifth Circuit Joins Sister Circuits in Holding That Employees May Recover Emotional Distress Damages in FLSA Retaliation Suits

On December 19, 2016, the Fifth Circuit joined the Sixth and Seventh Circuits in holding that “employees” under the FLSA may recover emotional distress damages in FLSA retaliation actions, finding that the district court erred by refusing to instruct the jury on the availability of emotional distress damages for an employee’s retaliation claim. In so … 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

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
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