Law and the Workplace

Category Archives: Wage and Hour

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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

DOL Issues Four New FLSA Opinion Letters

Summer’s not over yet!  On August 28, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor issued four new letters in response to requests for opinions under the Fair Labor Standards Act.  In this most recent slate of letters, the DOL offers guidance on compensable time, the retail sales exemption, volunteers, and the motion picture theater exemption. Compensable … Continue Reading

Illinois Expands Workplace Protections for Breastfeeding Employees

Governor Bruce Rauner has signed into law a bill that expands protections for employees needing to express breast milk in the workplace.  The law amends the preexisting Nursing Mothers in the Workplace Act (the “Act”) in several significant ways—most notably that break time provided for the expression of milk “may not reduce an employee’s compensation” … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Governor Signs Minimum Wage, Family and Medical Leave Bill

Paying WagesOn June 28, 2018, Governor Charlie Baker signed “An Act Relative to Minimum Wage, Paid Family Medical Leave, and the Sales Tax Holiday” (HB 4640) into law. Last week, we covered three major changes the Act makes to Massachusetts law that employers should be aware of (available here). In short, the Act incrementally increases minimum … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Legislature Passes Compromise Bill Increasing Minimum Wage, Establishing Paid Family and Medical Leave

On June 20, 2018, the Massachusetts legislature passed House Bill 4640, “An Act Relative to Minimum Wage, Paid Family Medical Leave, and the Sales Tax Holiday.” The bill increases minimum wage, eliminates premium Sunday pay for retail workers, and establishes a state paid family and medical leave insurance program. The bill also creates an annual … Continue Reading

[Podcast]: Recent Developments in California Law

In this episode of The Proskauer Brief, partner Tony Oncidi and senior counsel Harris Mufson discuss key developments in California employment law, including a new test to determine whether workers are independent contractors or employees and what’s new on the #MeToo front. Listen to the podcast.  … Continue Reading

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
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