Category Archives: Wage and Hour

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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

Contract
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to Chip Away at Obama Wage & Hour Efforts - WHD Interpretive Guidance on Joint Employer and Independent Contractors Withdrawn

Wage & Hour
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

Finding a Balance Between Cell Phone Access to Work Email and On-Call Pay

Long gone are the days where individuals required computer access in order to connect to the internet. Smartphones are everywhere, and the internet of things (IoT) means that common objects such as cars and phones can now easily connect to the internet to send and receive data. Unsurprisingly, it feels like most people have access … Continue reading this entry

The DOL's New Rx for Federal Contractor Employees

We have reported time and time again on the national trend of mandating paid sick leave for workers. As we noted last March, in a 2015 Executive Order, President Obama directed the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to issue regulations requiring federal contractors to provide paid sick leave to their employees. The DOL issued a final rule … Continue reading this entry

SCOTUS Sends Auto Workers Back to Circuit Court for Overtime Regulation “Repairs”

You may not even know the technical name for workers at the local car dealership who diagnose what is wrong with your vehicle and tell you how it can be repaired. They are called auto service advisors, and whether they are entitled to overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has been the … Continue reading this entry

Two Lawsuits Hope to Put the Brakes on Overtime Rule Changes

Wage and Hour
With a December 1 deadline looming, millions of employers across the country are scrambling to implement new compensation and classification practices in response to the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) new overtime rule, announced in May. This past Tuesday, a duo of federal lawsuits was filed in Texas as a response to strong objections from … Continue reading this entry

The Fluctuating Workweek Approach to Compensation – It Could Save You Money!

With the new, increased salary requirements set to take effect later this year for exempt employees, many employers are asking how they might reduce their overtime obligations. One possible approach is the fluctuating workweek method of compensation. However, prior to implementing such an approach, employers would be wise to seek guidance from counsel because the … Continue reading this entry

How Massachusetts’ New Equal Pay Law Impacts Employers

Employer
On August 1, 2016, Massachusetts became the first state to bar employers from asking job applicants about their salary history before making a formal job offer that includes compensation. Under the new law, employers may not seek information about an applicant’s salary history from the applicant or his or her current or former employer unless … Continue reading this entry

The Second City Adopts Paid Sick Leave Following Burgeoning National Trend

EEOC
Late last month, the Chicago City Council unanimously approved a new paid sick leave ordinance requiring virtually every employer in the city to provide at least some paid time off to employees for sick leave purposes. Cook County’s Board of Commissioners is expected to approve a similar ordinance later this year. Chicago is not forging … Continue reading this entry

DOL’s Increased Salary Test: What Employers Need to Know

For months, employers have been anxiously awaiting the Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) final rule on exemptions from overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and wondering whether the DOL would pass the rule as previously proposed or make modifications to its June 2015 proposed rule. Now the wait is finally over and, as anticipated, … Continue reading this entry

Changing Past Practices – You Might Already Have the Right to do What You Want

Employers frequently find themselves in a situation where they have the right to do something under their labor agreements, but they have not been exercising the right. For example, the labor agreement might provide: “There shall be no pyramiding of overtime,” but under the employer’s pay practices, the employer has in fact been pyramiding (counting … Continue reading this entry

Lessons from the Supreme Court: Do Not Settle for Average, Keep Exceptional Time Records

As we have reported several times before, much litigation has been directed at exposing and litigating the uncertainties posed by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in the area of donning (i.e., putting on) and doffing (i.e., taking off) personal protective equipment (PPE). The Supreme Court has recently entered the fray, and in its recent … Continue reading this entry

A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall: Pay Equity Disputes Ready To Explode

California Emloyers
In deference to Bob Dylan, while you may not need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows, employers quite often rely on employment lawyers to help them recognize an approaching legal storm and how best to prepare for it. Today, this weatherman is forecasting a coming pay equity storm. To best prepare, below … Continue reading this entry

Wisconsin Supreme Court Split Over Hormel Wage and Hour Claims

Wage and Hour
Yesterday, the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in UFCW v. Hormel Foods Corp., 2016 WI 13 (March 1, 2016). Unfortunately, many are wondering if the decision will provide useful guidance for Wisconsin employers on the application of two significant wage and hour concepts: (i) whether certain activities are preliminary and/or postliminary, such that … Continue reading this entry

DOL Asserts “As Broad as Possible” Joint Employer Standard for Wage and Hour Enforcement

In new guidance issued on January 20, the Department of Labor (DOL) has aggressively interpreted its authority “as broad as possible” to hold employers responsible for wage and hour violations committed by separate “joint employers.” This guidance, issued by David Weil, the administrator of DOL’s Wage and Hour Division, makes clear those businesses sharing employees … Continue reading this entry