Category Archives: Wage and Hour

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New Tip Pooling Guidelines For Employers

The recent passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 (“H.R. 1625”), an 878-page omnibus spending bill, significantly changes the rules for tip pooling under the Fair Labor Standards Act (the “FLSA”). While the conditions for taking a tip credit toward federal minimum wage obligations remain essentially unchanged, H.R. 1625 appears to permit the inclusion … Continue Reading

Alvarado v. Dart Container Corporation of California

On March 5, 2018, the California Supreme Court issued its decision in the Alvarado v. Dart Container Corporation of California case. The Court’s decision will have far reaching consequences for employers throughout the state by fundamentally changing how overtime is calculated. In short, the Court held that when calculating overtime in pay periods in which … Continue Reading

Department of Labor Announces New Payroll Audit Pilot Program

On Tuesday, March 6, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced its launch of the Payroll Audit Independent Determination (PAID) Program (“PAID” or the “Program”) – aimed at increasing employers’ FLSA compliance and timely payment of back wages to employees. The Program, which will start with a six-month pilot period prior to evaluation and … Continue Reading

PAGA Claim Defeated Based on Insufficient Notice to the LWDA

Last month, the California Court of Appeal determined in Khan v. Dunn-Edwards Corp., 2018 Cal.App. LEXIS 44 (Cal. App. 2d Dist. Jan. 4, 2018)(certified for publication), that a former employee’s claim under the Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) failed due to insufficient notice to the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency (“LWDA”). Plaintiff’s Lawsuit & … Continue Reading

New Year, New Minimum Wage Rates in California

Beginning January 1, 2018, the new California minimum wage rate for employers with 26 or more employees will be $11.00 per hour and the new California minimum wage rate for employers with 25 or fewer employees will be $10.50 per hour. As we previously reported, effective January 1, 2017, the California state minimum wage began … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Court of Appeals Rules That Hearst Interns Are Not Employees

In a decision issued earlier this month, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that participants in unpaid internship programs offered by the Hearst Corporation could not be classified as “employees” of Hearst and therefore were not entitled to compensation for their internships under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The Second Circuit’s decision in … Continue Reading

Jury Returns Verdict in Favor of Dollar Tree in Electronic Wage Statement Class Action

On November 7, 2017, after a four-day trial, a federal jury in Los Angeles, California returned a verdict in favor of Dollar Tree Stores, Inc. in a class action filed against the company by former employee Francisca Guillen. The case was pending in the Central District of California before Hon. Michael W. Fitzgerald.… Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Provides Clarification On Legality Of Draw-On-Commission Policy

Last month, the Sixth Circuit revived a lawsuit brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) alleging that a retailer’s commission policy was unlawful in Stein v. hhgregg, Inc., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 19908 (6th Cir. Ohio Oct. 12, 2017). The decision provides support for the legality of taking a draw on an employee’s future … Continue Reading

Promoting Wellness, Not Litigation

With ever-increasing employer health care costs, it’s not surprising that Workplace Wellness Programs are becoming more common and comprehensive. According to Fidelity Investment’s fifth annual wellness survey, 95% of companies plan to offer some kind of health improvement program for their employees, and plan to spend an average of $594 per employee on wellness-based incentives. … Continue Reading

Bay Area Local Law Update: Emeryville’s “Fair Workweek Ordinance”; San Francisco Bans Salary History Inquiries; And Additional Accommodations For Lactating Employees

Over the past few years, one of the biggest trends in employment law has been the proliferation of local ordinances imposing workplace standards beyond those mandated by state and federal laws. While many state governments have moved to preempt such regulations, California’s legislature has openly encouraged them, particularly in the wage and hour context. Unsurprisingly, … Continue Reading

Mendoza v. Nordstrom – Day Of Rest Rule

The California Supreme Court issued its long awaited ruling in Mendoza v. Nordstrom, in which it clarified California’s so-called “day of rest” rule, which guarantees employees “one day’s rest therefrom in seven,” prohibits employers from “causing” its employees to work more than six days in seven, and exempts employees when, inter alia, the total hours … Continue Reading

Unfair Scheduling: How New York City’s New Predictive Scheduling Law Continues The Trend And Makes Operations More Difficult For Employers

In November 2014, San Francisco passed the first predictive scheduling legislation in the country. Since that time, other states and municipalities have followed San Francisco’s lead, and have either proposed or enacted some variation of a predictive scheduling law. On March 3, 2017, New York became the most recent major city to introduce predictive scheduling … Continue Reading

The U.S. Department of Labor Rolls Back Obama-Era Guidance on Joint Employers and Independent Contractors

The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced today that it was rolling back an Obama-era policy that attempted to increase regulatory oversight of joint employer and contractor businesses. Courts and agencies use the joint employer doctrine to determine whether a business effectively controls the workplace policies of another company, such as a subsidiary or sub-contractor. … Continue Reading

Comp Time for the Private Sector: House Passes “The Working Families Flexibility Act”

On May 2, 2017, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1180, better known as The Working Families Flexibility Act. The bill proposes to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) to permit private sector employees to “bank” overtime hours for later comp time use. For example, an employee working 50 hours in a workweek could, … Continue Reading

Sheppard Mullin Secures Major Victory for Chipotle in Nationwide Misclassification Action By Demonstrating Variations Among Proposed Class Members

The Court’s opinion in Scott v. Chipotle Mexican Grill demonstrates how employers can successfully combat class action claims that employees were misclassified as exempt. The successful defense of the class certification motion relied chiefly on deposition and declaration testimony to highlight inconsistencies, variations, and individualized inquiries that prevented resolution of the claims at issue on … Continue Reading

California Court of Appeal Affirms Validity of Hospital Meal Period Waivers

The ability of hospitals to use meal period waivers was called into question by a 2015 Court of Appeal decision in Gerard v. Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center (Gerard I), which held that the provision in Wage Order 5 allowing waivers even when employees work over 12 hours was invalid.  Following two more years of … Continue Reading

*UPDATE* New York State Department of Labor’s Direct Deposit and Debit Card Notice Regulations Held Invalid and Revoked

As we previously reported here, the New York State Department of Labor (“NYSDOL”) issued final regulations in September 2016 imposing new notice and consent requirements on employers who pay wages via direct deposit and debit card.  The regulations, which were scheduled to take effect on March 7, 2017, have been invalidated and revoked by the … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

Texas Federal Court Blocks New Salary Restrictions for Exempt Employees

On November 22, 2016, a federal court in the Eastern District of Texas issued a preliminary injunction blocking the Department of Labor from enforcing new regulations that would have drastically reduced the number of white collar employees who are exempt from overtime.  The disputed regulations were set to take effect on December 1.… Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading
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