Law and the Workplace

Category Archives: Wage and Hour

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Connecticut Enacts Salary History Inquiry Law

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy has signed into law a bill that will restrict employers from inquiring about applicants’ salary history during the hiring process.  The law will take effect on January 1, 2019. Under the law, employers will be prohibited from inquiring or directing a third party to inquire about a prospective employee’s wage history, … Continue Reading

SCOTUS:  Employers Can Compel Individual Arbitration of Wage and Hour Claims

  In its eagerly-awaited opinion in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, the U.S. Supreme Court held on May 21 that class action waivers in arbitration agreements between employers and employees do not violate the National Labor Relations Act.  The opinion resolves a split among federal circuits, and reiterates—once again—the strong federal policy favoring arbitration. While … Continue Reading

Vermont Enacts Salary History Inquiry Law

Paying WagesVermont has become the latest jurisdiction to enact a law that will prohibit employers from inquiring about, seeking, or requiring salary history information from prospective employees. The law will take effect on July 1, 2018. Under the law, employers and their agents will be prohibited from: inquiring about or seeking information regarding a prospective employee’s … Continue Reading

California Changes Rules on Independent Contractors

As reported by my colleagues in Proskauer’s California Employment Law Update, the Supreme Court of California established new rules on April 30, 2018 for determining whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee for purposes of California’s Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) Wage Orders.  The Wage Orders set forth California’s requirements for minimum wage, … Continue Reading

New Jersey Governor Signs Sweeping Pay Equity Act Into Law

As anticipated, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has signed into law the Diane B. Allen Pay Equity Act (the “Act”).  The Act will take effect on July 1, 2018, giving employers approximately two months to review their policies to ensure compliance. As we previously reported, the Act will, among other things, make it an unlawful … Continue Reading

Westchester County, New York Enacts Salary History Inquiry Law

The Westchester County, NY Board of Legislators has unanimously enacted legislation that will prohibit employers and their agents from relying on, requiring, requesting, or seeking information about a prospective employee’s wage history during the hiring process. The Wage History Anti-Discrimination Law (the “Law”) will become effective on July 9, 2018. The Law amends the Westchester … Continue Reading

New Jersey Legislature Passes New Pay Equity Bill

The New Jersey state legislature has passed a new pay equity law which will, among other things, make it an unlawful employment practice to pay employees of any protected class under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“LAD”) at a lesser rate than other employees who perform “substantially similar work” unless the differential is based … Continue Reading

DOL Clarifies Pay Rules for FMLA-Related Breaks

In an opinion letter issued on April 12, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor concluded that 15-minute breaks throughout the day required by an employee’s serious health condition are not compensable—notwithstanding the general rule that breaks of 20 minutes or less are to be paid.  The agency explained the exception as follows: [R]est breaks up … Continue Reading

DOL Clears Up Travel Time Issue For Employees With No “Normal Working Hours”

The rules on what kinds of travel time are (and are not) compensable for non-exempt employees are complex.  As opposed to exempt employees—who generally receive a salary intended to compensate them for all working time, including time spent in business-related travel—non-exempt employees are often only paid for the particular hours that the law deems compensable.  … Continue Reading

States’ Attorneys General Throw Shade on USDOL’s “PAID” Program

Last month, we discussed some serious concerns about the efficacy of the U.S. Department of Labor’s “PAID” program, under which employers can self-report wage and hour violations to the federal agency and negotiate a seeming resolution of potential claims.  Chief among our concerns was that the resolution would not extend to state law claims, leaving … Continue Reading

SCOTUS Soundly Rejects Notion That FLSA Exemptions Are To Be “Narrowly Construed”

In an April 2, 2018 decision of otherwise narrow appeal to most employers (whether the exemption in Section 13(b) (10)(A) of the Fair Labor Standards Act for an automobile “salesman, partsman, or mechanic” applies to “service advisors”), the Supreme Court flatly debunked the well-worn notion that FLSA exemptions are to be construed narrowly. To be fair, … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Attorney General Issues Guidance on Updated Pay Equity Law

The Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General recently issued guidance on the new amendments to the Massachusetts Equal Pay Act (“MEPA”), effective July 1, 2018. Although the guidance is extremely detailed and should be reviewed in full, employers should take note of the following details: Coverage The MEPA and amendments are substantial in scope, covering … Continue Reading

DOL’s “New” PAID Self-Reporting Program of Questionable Value to Employers

Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division announced the upcoming launch of a “new” pilot program called the Payroll Audit Independent Determination program (“PAID”).  Under PAID, employers can come forward voluntarily to disclose wage and hour violations to the DOL, the DOL will supervise a settlement of any monetary claims … Continue Reading

DOL Revives Slate of FLSA Opinion Letters From 2009

Continuing the pro-business activities many expected from the agency, the U.S. Department of Labor has revived 17 Fair Labor Standards Act opinion letters that were published in the waning days of the Bush Administration in January 2009 but promptly withdrawn by the Obama DOL in March of that year.  The opinion letters were reissued verbatim … Continue Reading

New York Minimum Salary for Exemption and Minimum Wage To Increase on December 31

It’s that time of year again!  New York State’s annual threshold increases for overtime exemption and minimum wage go into effect on December 31, 2017.  On that date: The minimum salary for exemption as an “administrative” or “executive” employee increases from $825 per week ($42,900 annually) to $975 per week ($50,700 annually) for New York … Continue Reading

SDNY Denies Approval in FLSA Settlement Based In Part on Overly Broad Non-Disparagement Clause

In its November 17, 2017 opinion in Galindo v. East County Louth, Inc. (No. 16 Civ. 9149), the Southern District of New York denied a motion to approve an individual FLSA settlement, including on the ground that the settlement agreement contained what the Court deemed to be an overly broad non-disparagement provision. In the settlement … Continue Reading

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

On November 7, 2017, the Montgomery County Council unanimously passed a bill to increase the County’s minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2021 for employers with more than 50 employees (the “Bill”). Mid-size businesses, with 11 to 50 employees, must phase in the higher wage by 2023.  Small businesses (those with fewer than 11 … Continue Reading

DOL to Appeal Ruling That 2016 Overtime Rule Exceeded Its Authority

The DOL will appeal a Texas federal court’s ruling that the Obama administration’s 2016 overtime rule exceeded the DOL’s authority. The appeal comes nearly two months after the DOL dropped an earlier appeal of that court’s preliminary injunction on the same topic. The 2016 overtime rule would have required employers to pay most executive, administrative, … Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit Dismisses Appeal of Nationwide Injunction of Obama-Era Overtime Rule

In light of the Texas district court’s recent judgment invalidating the 2016 overtime rule, the DOL filed an unopposed motion to withdraw its appeal of the November 2016 order that preliminarily enjoined the rule on a nationwide basis.  The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals granted the motion and dismissed the appeal on September 6.  Unless … Continue Reading

Texas Court Invalidates 2016 Federal Overtime Rule; DOL Seeks to Withdraw Appeal of Injunction

On August 31, 2017, the Texas federal district court that had issued a preliminary injunction in November 2016 blocking implementation of the Obama Administration’s revised overtime rule granted the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment, declaring the rule invalid and ending the case at the district court.  The DOL had appealed the injunction with the Fifth Circuit Court … Continue Reading

Wage and Hour Considerations During Weather-Related Emergencies

As Tropical Storm Harvey continues wreak havoc across Texas and beyond, it’s the right time to revisit employer rights and responsibilities during a weather-related emergency or other major disruption.  Here are some typical scenarios that employers face during weather-related or other emergencies, and the consequences under the wage and hour laws. “Our office was closed … Continue Reading
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