Category Archives: Wage and Hour

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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

Don’t Forget to Amend Cafeteria Plan for New Permitted Election Change Events

EEOC
In 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) expanded the events that would allow employees to drop their health plan coverage under their employer’s cafeteria plan. As a reminder, the general rule is that once an employee enrolls in his or her employer’s group health plan through a cafeteria plan – which is what allows the … Continue reading this entry

But We Need You to Work More Than 40 Hours This Week! Overtime and the Health Care Employer

Hospitals and other health care facilities often do not know exactly how many hours each week they may need nurses and other allied health staff to work. Other employees may get sick, have a baby, go on vacation, or patient censuses may spike. From the Emergency Department in a busy inner-city hospital to a burgeoning … Continue reading this entry

November Is Coming: Voting and Other Leaves

Employer
The leaves are changing, and the air is turning cooler. While employers are gearing up for fall, voting leave may be far from their minds. After all, even though the presidential candidates are in full swing campaign mode, the “real” election is over a year away, right? As an employer, I can rest easy not … Continue reading this entry

Do You Need to Pay Minimum Wage or Overtime to Your Commission-Paid Employees?

Companies will sometimes take a chance on a new (or old) salesperson by allowing him/her to work on pure commission. This “eat what you kill” compensation system seemingly creates an incentive to sell with little risk to the company. But is there really little risk? There is a real and potentially expensive risk of violating … Continue reading this entry

We Thought It Might Be Getting Better … But Class Certification is Still On the Rise

The explosion of wage and hour class action litigation in the last 10 to 15 years or so has shined a spotlight not only on wage and hour practices themselves, but also on the critical question of whether an employer’s practices can and should support class certification. Class certification has accordingly become an issue of … Continue reading this entry

DOL Fires Across the Bow of Businesses Underway With Independent Contractor Manpower

California Emloyers
Employee classification issues have been a recurrent topic of ours, and with all the class action litigation arising from independent contractor and other classifications, we have had no shortage of opportunities to remind companies of the potential risks inherent in other-than-employee classifications. But just in case anyone in the business community has not heeded these warnings, … Continue reading this entry

Top Three Risks Associated With Implementation of an “Unlimited” Vacation Policy and How to Mitigate Them

Employer
“Unlimited” vacation (or otherwise known as nonaccrual of vacation) policies can provide a benefit with appeal to both employers and employees. For employers, providing an “unlimited” vacation benefit can alleviate some of the administrative and financial burden associated with promulgating and maintaining a formal vacation policy. Likewise, these policies can also be attractive to employees … Continue reading this entry

Overtime Regulations on the Horizon: What to Start Thinking About Now

Wage and Hour
Wage and hour issues are oftentimes amongst a company’s least favorite topics of conversation and yet, at the same time, can be the source of major liabilities. And just as the corporate world tries to figure out where the Department of Labor (DOL) and the courts are going with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) … Continue reading this entry

“Equal” Means “Equal in Substance,” Not “Equal in Form”

We noted several weeks ago that the Ellen Pao case reminds us that sometimes settlement is better than the airing of sensitive allegations, and sometimes outrageous settlement demands require an aggressive defense, media attention notwithstanding. But just below that surface is a different issue Ms. Pao’s allegations have highlighted: equal pay for equal work questions, an … Continue reading this entry