Category Archives: Wage and Hour

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California Supreme Court Says Employers Must Pay for Several Minutes of Off-the-Clock Work

Off-the-clock
Last Thursday, July 26, the California Supreme Court issued an opinion concluding that coffee retailer Starbucks must pay its employees for off-the-clock duties that take several minutes per shift. In issuing its opinion, the Court rejected Starbucks’ request to invoke a federal wage rule (known as the de minimis doctrine) that excuses employers from paying … Continue reading this entry

Pay Equity Law Update

Pay
New Connecticut Pay Equity Law On May 22, 2018, Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed Public Act No. 18-8, “An Act Concerning Pay Equity,” into law. The new Connecticut law follows a recent trend by states to enact laws prohibiting employers from seeking salary history from prospective employees. Connecticut now joins California, Delaware, Massachusetts (see below), … Continue reading this entry

Summer (and with it, summer vacations) is coming!

Summer
As we head into the start of summer and employees begin to request more time off for vacation, this is a great time to review your vacation policies to ensure they are legally compliant and meet business needs. With the exception of certain state or local paid sick leave laws, employees generally do not have … Continue reading this entry

Tackling Depositions in Wage and Hour Misclassification Suits

Misclassification
This article discusses how to prepare for and take a plaintiff’s deposition in wage and hour exemption misclassification cases. It also discusses how to defend the deposition of a Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(b)(6) witness in such cases. This article addresses the following steps and strategies: Step 1:Identify the Objectives of the Plaintiff’s Deposition; … Continue reading this entry

Trump’s DOL Issues First Opinion Letters

Waivers
Back in January, we reported that the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) was reviving the agency’s practice of issuing opinion letters at the request of employers.  The WHD stopped the practice of issuing opinion letters under the Obama administration back in 2010.  After nearly a decade, the WHD finally issued new opinion … Continue reading this entry

Supreme Court Overtime Case Signals A Pro-Employer Shift

Overtime
What keeps employers up at night?  The prospect of collective action overtime lawsuits under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is right at the top of the list of human resources nightmares. While overtime and other wage and hour lawsuits aren’t going away any time soon, on April 2, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court handed … Continue reading this entry

Getting PAID – A New Path for Employers to Address Federal Wage and Hour Violations

PAID
It is a dilemma that many employers have faced. You discover that your company violated federal law on minimum wage or overtime payments. You want to fix the problem, but you do not know how to do so without prompting employee demand letters, a Department of Labor audit or, perhaps worst, a class action lawsuit. … Continue reading this entry

California Changes the Rules for Calculating Overtime on Employee Bonuses

Off-the-clock
The California Supreme Court just threw employers a serious curveball with respect to how employers must calculate overtime. And it did so by claiming employers should have known of this calculation method even though the same California Supreme Court declared it void over 20 years ago.… Continue reading this entry

R2-Me2? How Should Employers Respond to Job Loss Caused by Robots?

Robots
There is no question that the use of robots, along with other similar technological changes in the workplace, will continue to eliminate or downgrade jobs. Indeed, it has been estimated that on average, each workplace robot eliminates six jobs. This article will examine (1) the impact such changes will have on women and (2) whether … Continue reading this entry

The Department of Labor Restores Bush Era Opinion Letters

PAID
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is turning back the clock in a move that it believes will provide clarity for employers who seek to comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). On January 5, 2018, the DOL reinstated 17 opinion letters to employers that were published in January 2009, during the final month … Continue reading this entry

The Use of Staffing Agencies Is About To Get More Expensive (and Risky) in Illinois

Creative
As we have reported in the past, utilizing temporary staffing agencies to fill gaps in labor needs can be an efficient and economically beneficial way for companies to meet business demands.  This is particularly true in today’s “gig economy,” where short-term staffing needs are high but small or mid-size companies do not have the resources … Continue reading this entry

Time to Think About Holiday Bonuses

holiday
Halloween has passed and we are now squarely approaching the holiday season. While this time of year brings many good things, it can also bring unwanted headaches for employers wanting to spread some “holiday cheer,” especially those who forget how bonuses may affect payment of overtime. So, while we recently discussed bonuses in general, now … Continue reading this entry

Straight Talk About Incentive Compensation

Compensation
Many employers offer compensation packages that include a mix of both base compensation (guaranteed wages or salary) and  incentive compensation (at-risk variable compensation). While base pay tends to be relatively straightforward, incentive compensation presents unique challenges and planning opportunities.… Continue reading this entry

Monopoly Money or the Real Deal? Exploring the Possibility of Paying Employees in Bitcoin

Bitcoin
Bitcoin, the most popular form of digital or crypto-currency, is gaining traction as an investment vehicle and a way to pay for goods and services. More than 100,000 merchants worldwide now accept Bitcoin, allowing consumers to book a hotel stay, take a taxi, or buy a car.  The buzz around crypto-currency continues to grow as … Continue reading this entry

California Supreme Court Confirms that PAGA Plaintiffs Are Entitled to Broad Discovery of Other Employees’ Contact Information

invention
California’s Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) allows aggrieved employees to recover civil penalties on behalf of themselves, other employees, and the State of California for Labor Code violations. On July 13, 2017, the California Supreme Court issued its anticipated ruling on the scope of discovery in PAGA cases.  In a blow to employers, the Court … Continue reading this entry

Trump Department of Labor Continues to Chip Away at Obama Wage & Hour Efforts - WHD Interpretive Guidance on Joint Employer and Independent Contractors Withdrawn

PAID
On Wednesday, June 7th, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) withdrew two highly provocative interpretive guidance letters issued under President Obama’s administration. The two letters, issued by the Wage & Hour Division (WHD) Administrator, sought to limit instances of misclassification of workers, and expand the instances where a business might be considered a joint employer … Continue reading this entry

“Shifting” Away From Hourly Pay ... Be Aware of Potential Pitfalls

In many states, the practice of paying nonexempt employees a “day rate,” “shift rate” or “job rate,” is gaining in popularity. A day rate occurs when a set amount of pay is guaranteed for a shift without regard to the hours worked. The appeal is obvious. For the employee, a guaranteed day rate means the … Continue reading this entry

Failure To Pay Minimum Wage Can Jeopardize Employment-Based Visa Petitions

Wage and Hour
Rudyard Kipling famously noted, “East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.” Many employers may feel that this quote aptly describes the relationship between immigration law and wage & hour law — certainly, it is not often that these two areas are discussed in the same article, let alone the … Continue reading this entry

It Pays to Pay Attention to Impact When Considering Layoffs

Discrimination
Unfortunately, many employers from time to time face the need to restructure or downsize their workforce. While the business climate or customer needs are often the driving force in a restructuring or layoff, there are a number of other factors that employers must consider when planning for the actual implementation of such a change. As … Continue reading this entry

Federal Minimum Salary Drama? New York Says Fuhgettaboutit!

Wage and Hour
As if the start-again, stop-again saga with the U.S. Department of Labor’s rules increasing the minimum salary threshold for exempt workers wasn’t confusing enough, at least one state has jumped into the fray and changed its own overtime rules — New York. Effective December 31, 2016, the New York Department of Labor amended its minimum … Continue reading this entry

No Stay for Other Pay-Related Regulations

Wage and Hour
A trio of recent court decisions staying implementation of the controversial persuader rule, most of the much-criticized Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces (“FPSW”) executive order, and the Department of Labor’s highly publicized overtime rule are a breath of fresh air for employers who have been struggling to keep up with the onslaught of new regulatory … Continue reading this entry

Court Blocks Overtime Rule; Employers Off the Hook on December 1 Changes (For Now)

Yesterday, a federal judge in Texas issued a temporary nationwide injunction preventing the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) overtime rule from taking effect on December 1. We discussed both the lawsuit and the final rule previously, and also provided a Q&A about these changes.… Continue reading this entry

Six Tips to Help HR Professionals Avoid Criminal Antitrust Liability Under New DOJ/FTC Guidance

Employer
On October 20, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) jointly issued antitrust guidance for human resources professionals. The agencies also released a list of high-level red flags for the unwary. The DOJ and FTC’s guidance reminds HR professionals to avoid entering into agreements concerning wages, employee benefits, or terms of … Continue reading this entry

What Will Happen When the Smoke Clears? Post-Election HR Strategies for 2017 and Beyond

Trade Secrets
The long and contentious presidential campaign is over.  So, now what?  What does President-elect Trump’s victory mean for employers? To explore this question, Foley and Lardner LLP’s Labor & Employment Practice group hosted a webinar titled “What Will Happen When the Smoke Clears? HR Strategies for 2017 and Beyond” on November 10, 2016.  The team … Continue reading this entry