Law and the Workplace

Category Archives: Wage and Hour

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Dems Introduce Bills to Raise Salary Minimum for Overtime Exemption

Members of the House and Senate introduced companion bills on June 11, 2019 to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act to raise the minimum salary threshold for exempt executive, administrative, and professional (“EAP”) employees to north of $50,000 and to automatically update the threshold every three years. The “Restoring Overtime Pay Act of 2019” (H.R. … Continue Reading

Retail Salespeople Paid on Commission Are Entitled to Overtime and Sunday Pay, Massachusetts SJC Says

On May 8, 2019, Massachusetts’ highest court held that retail salespersons who are paid entirely on a commission or draw basis, may nevertheless be entitled to additional overtime or pay for work on Sundays. The Supreme Judicial Court considered these questions in Sullivan v. Sleepy’s LLC, SJC-12542. The narrow questions the Court considered were whether … Continue Reading

DOL Validates Independent Contractor Relationships in the On-Demand Marketplace

In an opinion letter issued April 29, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division concluded that a “virtual marketplace company” (“VMC”) that connects service providers with consumers is not the employer of the service providers.  The opinion should be a welcome one not only for VMCs and businesses in the “gig economy,” … Continue Reading

Judge Orders Employers to Submit Pay Data on Revised EEO-1 Form by September 30, 2019

Introduction: On April 25, 2019, Judge Tanya Chutkan ordered the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to collect detailed data on employee compensation and hours worked from covered employers sorted by job category, pay band, race, ethnicity, and gender (“Component 2” of the EEO-1 form) by September 30, 2019.  The reporting requirement applies to all … Continue Reading

Massachusetts SJC Weighs in on Wage Act Class Actions and Offers of Judgment

On Friday April 12, 2019, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court confirmed that plaintiffs seeking to bring class actions asserting Massachusetts Wage Act (“Wage Act”) violations must meet the certification standards set by Massachusetts Rule of Civil Procedure 23 (“Rule 23”), and cannot avail themselves of a lower bar to class certification. In Gammella v. P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, … Continue Reading

N.Y. Court of Appeals Delivers Wage and Hour Victory to Home Care Industry Employers

On March 26, 2019, New York’s highest court delivered a victory for employers in the home care industry, clarifying that employers need only compensate home health aides for 13 hours of a 24-hour shift, provided the employees receive five hours of uninterrupted sleep during an eight-hour sleep break and three hours for meal breaks.  Andryeyeva … Continue Reading

Proposed Overtime Rule Published; Public Comment Period Open Until May 21

The U.S. Department of Labor’s proposed new overtime rule was published in the Federal Register today.  As described in our earlier post, the proposed new rule would: Raise the salary minimum for exemption as an executive, administrative, or professional employee to $679 per week ($35,308 per year). Allow employers to satisfy up to 10% of the … Continue Reading

Unboxing The Proposed New Federal Overtime Rule

It’s here.  The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division unveiled its proposed new overtime rule today.  We skipped the 200-plus pages of preamble and jumped right to the proposed regulatory amendments themselves (we’ll digest the prefatory materials in another post).  Here’s the deal: The salary minimum for exemption as an executive, administrative, or … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court OK’s Attorneys’ Fees for Wage Act Settlements

As has been long anticipated, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court recently gave a green light to plaintiffs’ attorneys seeking a fee award under the Commonwealth’s Payment of Wages Act, even where an action ends in settlement.  The Wage Act (Mass. General Laws ch. 149 §§ 148, 150) awards costs and fees when an employee “prevails” … Continue Reading

Moonlighting Police Officers Are Employees, Not Independent Contractors, Says Sixth Circuit

In yet another legal development calling into question a traditional independent contractor relationship in the U.S., the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit determined that off-duty police officers were employees of a private security company for purposes of the Fair Labor Standards Act.  In Acosta v. Off Duty Police Services, Inc. (6th Cir. Feb. … Continue Reading

Philadelphia Enacts Fair Workweek Ordinance

The Philadelphia City Council recently passed the Fair Workweek Employment Standards Ordinance (the “Ordinance”), which will impose new restrictions on retail, fast food and hospitality employers with regard to employee scheduling and pay practices. The Ordinance was signed by Mayor Jim Kenney on December 20, 2018, and will take effect on January 1, 2020. The … Continue Reading

Proskauer Delivers Webinar on Settling Employment Claims

On December 12, Proskauer partners Allan Bloom, Elise Bloom, and Harris Mufson delivered a webinar focused on how recent developments in the law impact the ground rules and key strategies for settlement in four distinct areas of employment litigation. Wage and Hour. Mr. Bloom explained that, in most jurisdictions, settlements of Fair Labor Standards Act … Continue Reading

Reminder: New York Minimum Salary for Exemption, Minimum Wage Increasing on December 31

As discussed in our earlier post, New York State’s annual increases for overtime exemption and minimum wage go into effect on December 31, 2018. Employers whose exempt “administrative” and “executive” employees are currently paid less than the new salary minimums must either increase those salaries to the new levels or start paying the affected employees … Continue Reading

Suffolk County, New York Enacts Salary History Ban

The Suffolk County, NY Legislature has unanimously enacted a bill that will prohibit employers and their agents from inquiring about job applicants’ wage or salary history during the hiring process. The Restricting Information on Salaries and Earnings Act (the “RISE Act”) goes into effect on June 30, 2019. The RISE Act amends the Suffolk County … Continue Reading

[Podcast]: Recent Developments in Federal Overtime Rules

In this episode of The Proskauer Brief, senior counsel Harris Mufson and partner Allan Bloom discuss recent developments in federal overtime rules.  The Trump administration recently released its fall 2018 regulatory agenda, with lots of information relating to the Department of Labor (DOL). The DOL appears to be committed to a more business-friendly regulatory framework … Continue Reading

Federal Regulatory Agenda Previews Anticipated FLSA Rule Changes

The Trump Administration unveiled its Fall 2018 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions (the “Regulatory Agenda”) earlier this week.  That’s the biannual report from the federal administrative agencies on the regulatory actions they plan to take in the near and long term. Lots of juicy information in the Regulatory Agenda, but we’ll focus on … Continue Reading

Trump’s Fall Regulatory Agenda Pegs March 2019 For Proposed New Overtime Rule

In its Fall 2018 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, published today, the Trump Administration formally announced its intention to issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in March 2019 “to determine the appropriate salary level for exemption of executive, administrative and professional employees.”  See our earlier post for what to expect in the proposed new rule.… Continue Reading

New York Minimum Salary for Exemption, 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, 2018.  On that date: The minimum salary for exemption as an “administrative” or “executive” employee increases from $975 per week ($50,700 annually) to $1,125 per week ($58,500 annually) for New York City … Continue Reading

New Federal Overtime Rule Expected in March 2019 

It doesn’t seem that long ago that employers were busily preparing for the new overtime rule that would have doubled the minimum salary level for the “white collar” exemptions from $23,660 to nearly $48,000.  That new rule—finalized in May 2016 and set to take effect on December 1 of that year—was struck down by a … Continue Reading

Proposed Rules Issued for New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Act

The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development has issued proposed rules for the recently enacted New Jersey paid sick leave act (the “Act”), which will take effect on October 29, 2018. The proposed rules will be subject to a 60-day public comment period. As we have previously reported, the Act will require employers … Continue Reading

Second Circuit, Relying on SCOTUS Instruction, Rejects “Narrow Construction” Principle for FLSA Exemptions

In two decisions issued on September 19, the Second Circuit relied on the Supreme Court’s instruction in Encino Motorcars, LLC v. Navarro, 138 S. Ct. 1134, 1140 (April 2, 2018) that FLSA exemptions are not to be construed narrowly, but fairly. In Munoz-Gonzalez v. D.C. Limousine Service, Inc., analyzing the taxicab exemption in Section 13(b)(17) of … Continue Reading

Wage and Hour Considerations During Weather-Related Emergencies

Business disruptions stemming from natural disasters – whether a hurricane, snowstorm, wildfire or other emergency – raise important questions for employers. We want to take this opportunity to share insight on the frequently asked questions that our clients face in the wake of natural disasters. The following scenarios shed light on employer rights and responsibilities … Continue Reading
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