Many California employers may be facing another minimum wage increase on July 1st. Earlier this year, California’s minimum wage was increased to $15.50 for all employers. However, local entities (like cities and counties) are allowed to establish a higher minimum wage rate for employees working within their jurisdiction. Starting on July 1, 2023, a number of localities will raise their minimum wage.
In March, U.S. Department of Treasury issued its annual General Explanations of the Administration’s Revenue Proposals, commonly known as the “Green Book.” Among other revenue proposals, the Treasury addressed the treatment of on-demand pay arrangements or earned wage access (EWA) programs, which have risen in popularity in recent years (previously discussed in our Labor and Employment Blog). EWA programs generally allow employees to access accrued wages before the end of their regular pay cycle. …
Continue Reading Treasury Department Proposes Non-Loan Status for Earned Wage Access
On September 27, 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez’s Assembly Bill 1003 into law. This new legislation establishes that intentional theft of wages or tips by employers is punishable as grand theft. The law takes effect on January 1, 2022.
Continue Reading New California Law Imposes Harsh Penalties for Employers Committing Intentional Wage Theft
A former Wal-Mart employee had his $102 million dollar verdict overturned in a recent win for California employers. Roderick Magadia, the former employee, brought a class action and Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) complaint against Wal-Mart alleging, in part, that Wal-Mart issued deficient wage statements in violation of Labor Code Section 226. The alleged defect was prompted by a “Myshare” bonus, a quarterly bonus based on non-discretionary metrics. Because the bonus was non-discretionary, the law required Wal-Mart to factor the bonus into the “regular rate” of pay used to calculate the overtime premium. But, since the bonus was earned and paid quarterly while the overtime premium on hourly pay is paid during every two-week pay period, the premium must be recalculated and adjusted with a supplemental payment each quarter.
Continue Reading Sheppard Mullin Helps Overturn $102 Million Dollar Verdict
As peer-to-peer payment applications proliferate and on-demand technologies reach new facets of people’s lives, it is only natural that these programs now offer services geared particularly for employees. On-demand, daily pay apps, also known as “instant pay” or “earned wage access” are the outgrowth of two fundamental truths: (1) millions of Americans live paycheck to paycheck; and (2) employees perform their actual work and earn their actual wages up to two weeks before they receive their paychecks.
Instant pay apps offer to bridge the gap between when one’s expenses come due and one’s paycheck issues, by allowing employees to withdraw the wages they have already earned for work performed in a pay period, before the regular pay date. Hailed as a panacea by employees, who otherwise would be vulnerable to predatory payday loans, these instant pay apps unsurprisingly implicate multiple California wage and hour laws that an employer must comply with. As a result, employers considering rolling out these programs must carefully balance their potential legal risk against the benefit these apps offer employees, and should understand the potential protections available to an employer.
Continue Reading Pay Day, Every Day? Instant Pay Apps and Their Wage and Hour Implications
On March 27, 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, an act designed to amend and strengthen the existing federal Equal Pay Act (“EPA”), 29 U.S.C. § 206(d). The Paycheck Fairness Act, which passed the House by a vote of 242-187 on a largely party-line basis, is sponsored by Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), and would make sweeping changes to existing law.
Continue Reading Equal Pay Act Amendment Passes House of Representatives
Last week, the California State Supreme Court struck a decisive victory in favor of payroll companies, issuing a unanimous opinion that an employee is not a third-party beneficiary of the contract between her employer and its payroll service provider. The court held that an employee-plaintiff has no standing to sue her employer’s payroll company for an alleged failure to pay wages under California’s employee-friendly labor laws.
Continue Reading California Supreme Court Announces a Win for Payroll Outsourcing Industry
On February 4, 2019, the California Court of Appeal, Second District issued a 2-1 decision in Ward v. Tilly’s, Inc. in which it held employees must be given “reporting time pay” under Wage Order No. 7-2001 when an employer requires its employees to call in two hours before a potential shift to learn whether the employee is needed for work and the employee is told not to come into work that day. This decision strays from most employers’ general understanding that “reporting time pay” covers only the situation where the employee physically comes into work but is sent home early (usually for lack of work). Nevertheless, as the only published California appellate decision addressing this specific issue, California employers are bound by Ward and should revise their reporting policies accordingly to avoid liability.
Continue Reading Ward v. Tilly’s, Inc.: California Employers Should Dial Back On-Call Shift Policies
On July 17, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) issued a revised Form I-9. The new form must be used by September 18, 2017.
The revised form has only one substantive change. A new List C Document was added as an acceptable document – a Consular Report of Birth for a U.S. citizen who was born abroad.
The new I-9 form can be accessed here.
Employers must maintain a completed Form I-9 on file for every employee on their payroll who was hired after November 6, 1986 and for terminated employees during the required retention period. The purpose of the Form I-9 is to require the employer to establish the employee’s identity and authorization to work in the U.S.
Continue Reading USCIS Issues New I-9 Form: Commentary and I-9 Checklist for Employers
Earlier this year, we reported that New York City adopted The Establishing Protections for Freelance Workers Act, also known as the Freelance Isn’t Free Act, (the “Freelance Law”). As explained in our prior blog, under the Freelance Law, a company must: (1) provide a written contract when it contracts with a freelance worker for services worth $800 or more, (2) ensure that all payments to freelance workers are made on a timely basis and paid in full, and (3) prohibit any type of retaliatory or adverse action against freelance workers for exercising the rights granted to them under the Freelance Law.
Continue Reading UPDATE: NYC Adopts New Rules Implementing Freelance Law
The Establishing Protections for Freelance Workers Act, also known as the Freelance Isn’t Free Act, (the “Freelance Law”), which was touted by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio as the first law in the nation aimed at protecting wage payment rights of freelance workers, became effective last Monday, May 15, 2017. The Freelance Law imposes specific requirements on companies located in New York City that contract with freelance workers, including requiring a written freelance contract, requiring companies to pay freelancers timely and in full, prohibiting retaliation against freelancers who exercise their rights under the Freelance Law, and creating penalties against companies who fail to comply with these requirements. …
Continue Reading New Freelancer Law Imposes Additional Requirements For NYC Companies Contracting With Freelancers