U.S. Supreme Court to Decide Class Action Waiver Divide

On January 13, 2017, the United States Supreme Court consolidated and granted review of the three following cases involving the legality of arbitration agreements which contain class action waivers:  National Labor Relations Board v. Murphy Oil USA, Inc., from the 5th Circuit, Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, from the 7th Circuit, and Ernst & Young LLP v. Morris, from the 9th Circuit.

The NLRB, most notably with its 2012 decision in D.R. Horton, has routinely held that arbitration agreements containing class action waivers violate employees’ rights under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”).  The courts, however, have taken a variety of stances on the issue, and these three cases present the Supreme Court with a an opportunity to resolve an issue that has divided the Circuits.

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New Year, New Rules for Employers Doing Business in New York

Last year the New York legislature and New York Department of Labor amended several employment laws implementing changes that took effect at the end of 2016 or are set to take effect early this year.  This post summarizes the new and updated legal requirements included in those amendments to help New York employers comply in 2017.

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New Year, New Rules for Employers Doing Business in New Jersey in 2017

Last year New Jersey state and local legislatures implemented several employment laws and ordinances that are set to take effect in 2017.  This update summarizes these new legal requirements to help New Jersey employers prepare and comply in 2017.

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Supreme Court Holds That Rest Periods Must Be Free From Duties And Employer Control

On December 22, 2016, the California Supreme Court issued a critical decision in Augustus v. ABM Security Services, Inc., 2016 D.J. 12608 (2016), relating to California’s rest period obligations.  The California Supreme Court declared that state law prohibits on-duty and on-call rest periods.  It stated that employers must (1) relieve their employees of all duties during rest periods and (2) relinquish any control over how employees spend their break time.  However, the decision did not end there.  The California Supreme Court examined a number of related considerations, including the practical limitations created by a ten-minute rest period, policies that place restrictions on employees during rest periods, the circumstances under which premium payments may be due for missed rest periods, and the possibility of rescheduling or restarting rest periods when they cannot be provided or are interrupted.

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Update: New York State Department of Labor Proposes Increases to Overtime Exempt Salary Threshold

[UPDATE] On December 29, 2016, the New York State Department of Labor (“NYSDOL”) adopted its proposed rule increasing overtime exempt salary thresholds for New York employees. The new rule is set to take effect in just two days on December 31, 2016. The NYSDOL made no changes to the version of the proposed rule published on October 19, 2016 and discussed in this article. Employers in New York should plan to comply with the new overtime salary thresholds as outlined below on January 1, 2017. The United States Department of Labor’s proposed rule to increase the national overtime exempt salary threshold is still under a nationwide preliminary injunction and is set to be decided in the first half of 2017.  However, this preliminary injunction had no effect on the December 31, 2016 effective date of the New York State rule.

New York City: Large Employer (11 or more) New York City: Small Employer (10 for fewer) Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester Counties Other New York counties
Effective Date Overtime Exempt Salary Threshold (salary/week)
12/31/16 $825.00 $787.00 $750.00 $727.50
12/31/17 $975.00 $900.00 $825.00 $780.00
12/31/18 $1,125.00 $1,012.50 $900.00 $832.00
12/31/19 $1,125.00 $975.00 $885.00
12/31/20 $1,050.00 $937.50
12/31/21 $1,125.00

 

Click here to read our original article on the proposed changes.

 

*Danielle Thompson is a law clerk in Sheppard Mullin’s New York office.

D.C. Council Passes Expansive Family and Medical Leave Bill

On December 20, 2016, in a 9-4 vote, the Washington, D.C. Council passed bill B21-0415, The Universal Paid Leave Act of 2015.  The bill establishes a universal paid leave system for individuals who work in the District of Columbia (“the District” or “D.C.”) and businesses operating in D.C.  It will be effective after Mayor Muriel Bowser’s signature, inaction, or, if vetoed, a Council override, and a 30-day Congressional review.

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California Employers – New Year, New Rules in 2017

The new year will bring along a variety of new obligations for California employers.  Although some of the new laws clarify existing law and provide helpful guidance, several impose additional requirements.  This update highlights key provisions of some of the more notable changes taking effect in 2017.  Links to the statutes and/or prior updates regarding the same are provided where applicable.

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Los Angeles Enacts “Fair Chance” Ordinance Prohibiting Criminal History Inquiries Prior To Conditional Offers Of Employment

Following the Los Angeles minimum wage ordinance that was enacted earlier this year, the City of Los Angeles has now enacted another ordinance that will significantly impact employers doing business within city limits.  On December 9, 2016, Mayor Garcetti signed into law the “Fair Chance” ordinance, which significantly limits the ability of Los Angeles employers to ask job applicants about criminal convictions.

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National Labor Relations Board Issues Yet Another Decision Finding An Employer’s Work Rules Overly Broad

The National Labor Relations Board (“Board”) recently issued a decision that serves as a reminder for both union and non-union employers that the Board continues to take an aggressive stance on seemingly innocuous employment policies that the Board believes may chill an employee’s exercise of his or her Section 7 rights under the National Labor Relations Act (the “Act”).

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