Archives: Wage and Hour

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Third Circuit Affirms Bright-Line FLSA Rule on Short Breaks, and Rejects Employer’s ‘Good-Faith’ Absent Disclosure of Legal Advice

On October 13, 2017, the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that short breaks during the work day of 20 minutes or fewer are compensable as a “bright-line rule” under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).  The case, DOL v. American Future Systems, et al., arose out of the employer’s policy of withholding … Continue Reading

Employers Beware: Fifth Circuit Narrows “Fluctuating” Workweek

In a recent Wage and Hour development, the Fifth Circuit held that the “fluctuating workweek method,” which allows employers to decrease their liability for overtime payments in situations where they misclassify exempt employees, should not automatically be used where the employee works a different number of hours each week, based on a recurring, fixed schedule. … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Expands Scope of PAGA Discovery

On July 13, 2017, in a decision with serious repercussions on the scope of PAGA discovery, the California Supreme Court overruled the Court of Appeals in Williams v. Superior Court to allow state-wide discovery of Marshalls employees’ contact information, without the plaintiff first having to show any evidence to support his own individual claims or the … Continue Reading

NY Court Rules That Class Action Waivers Are Unenforceable

While pundits and practitioners eagerly await the U.S. Supreme Court’s looming decision on whether class action waivers in employment-related agreements violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) – which will not be issued until 2018 – one New York State court has decided to wade into the fracas. On July 18, a New York State … Continue Reading

NYC Agency Publishes Rules for New Independent Contractor Law

As we previously reported, the New York City “Freelance Isn’t Free” Act (the Act) took effect on May 15, 2017. The Act requires virtually all entities that engage an independent contractor in NYC for $800 or more in services to execute a written agreement with the contractor before work begins.  The Act additionally bars wage … Continue Reading

Reminder for NYC Employers: Independent Contractor Law Takes Effect May 15

On May 15, a new law takes effect in New York City that will require written agreements between many, if not most, independent contractors and the entities that engage them.  As we previously reported, the “Freelance Isn’t Free” Act (the Act) requires that virtually all entities that engage a “freelance worker” for $800 or more … Continue Reading

New York Wage Payment Regulations Are Revoked at the Eleventh Hour

Recently, New York’s Industrial Board of Appeals (IBA) revoked regulations issued by the State’s Department of Labor (NYSDOL) governing employee wage payments via direct deposit and payroll debit cards, which were scheduled to go into effect March 7, 2017. The IBA, an independent agency with certain oversight authority over the NYSDOL, held that the proposed … Continue Reading

NY Dept of Labor Finalizes Major Changes to Wage Regulations

In New York, a large number of wage and hour requirements are statutorily codified in the Labor Law. Many others requirements, however, are set forth in regulations known as wage orders, which are issued and updated from time-to-time by the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL).  The NYSDOL publishes wage orders covering the hospitality, … Continue Reading

What Employers May Expect with Trump in Office

This installment of our ongoing series prognosticating about the new Presidential administration focuses on the regulatory environment employers may face. President-elect Trump has promised to revoke a number of the more employee-friendly measures that the Obama Administration has passed over the previous eight years.  Additionally, Ivanka Trump, who was influential throughout her father’s campaign, has … Continue Reading

Court Preliminarily Enjoins DOL Overtime Rule

A Texas federal court judge has issued a preliminary nationwide injunction blocking the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) from implementing the controversial overtime rule set to take effect December 1. The rule would have more than doubled the weekly salary threshold for the federal Fair Labor Standards Act’s so-called “white collar” exemptions, from $455/week to … Continue Reading

NY Dept. of Labor Proposes Major Changes to Wage Regulations

In New York, a large number of wage and hour requirements are statutorily codified in the Labor Law. Many others requirements, however, are set forth in regulations known as wage orders, which are issued and updated from time-to-time by the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL).  The NYSDOL publishes wage orders covering the hospitality, … Continue Reading

NYC Passes Comprehensive Independent Contractor Bill

On October 27, the New York City Council, long known for pushing the envelope when it comes to employment legislation, passed a first-of-its-kind bill, known as the “Freelance Isn’t Free” Act, that requires written agreements between certain independent contractors and the entities that engage them (the Act).  The Act also bars wage theft and retaliation … Continue Reading

New York Federal Court Pilots Mandatory Mediation Program for FLSA Cases

The Southern District of New York (SDNY) recently announced a new pilot mediation program for cases filed under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Effective October 3, 2016, any federal wage and hour cases that are assigned to Judges Abrams, Bricetti, Carter, Daniels, Ramos, Sebel, and Woods, will be ordered directly to mediation. The mediation … Continue Reading

DOL Issues Final Rules for Sick Leave for Federal Contractors

On September 30, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor issued the long-awaited Final Rule implementing President Obama’s Executive Order 13706, which requires federal contractors (and their subcontractors) to provide workers with a minimum of seven days of paid sick leave. The Rule will impose substantial new obligations on many employers beginning January 1, 2017, and … Continue Reading

We May Not Have Heard The Last Word . . . The New White Collar Exemption Rules

Get ready, set…but wait…maybe not… As employers gear up to meet the swiftly approaching December 1, 2016, deadline to implement the Department of Labor’s (‘DOL”) new overtime pay requirements for white-collar workers, 21 states, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and several other business groups filed legal challenges in various courts to halt the changes The DOL’s … Continue Reading

NY Makes Significant Changes to Employers’ Use of Direct Deposit and Payroll Cards

The New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) recently finalized a new rule that significantly changes how employers pay their employees through direct deposit and payroll debit cards. Even though the new regulation does not go into effect until March 7, 2017, Empire State employers should begin preparing for the effective date now, especially for … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Holds Class Action Waivers Are Unenforceable

In a strong blow to employers, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently released its opinion in Stephen Morris, et al. v. Ernst & Young, et al., No. 13-16599, D.C. No. 5:12-cv-04964-RMW (August 22, 2016), holding that agreements precluding employees from bringing “concerted actions” such as class and/or collective actions relating to their wages, hours, … Continue Reading

Emerging Labor & Employment Law Trends (Part 1)

With summer 2016 almost behind us, employers should begin to plan for the major labor and employment law trends expected to emerge in the final quarter of the year and into 2017. In the first part of this two-part series, we will take a look at some of the principal trends likely to be shaped … Continue Reading

NY Dept of Labor Proposes Drastic Changes to Employers’ Use of Direct Deposit and Payroll Cards

The New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) recently published a proposed rule governing how employers pay their employees through direct deposit and payroll debit cards. While the majority of the proposed rule focuses on new requirements regarding the use of payroll cards, the proposal, if adopted, would also effectively require every Empire State employer … Continue Reading

U.S. DOL Releases Final Revisions on Overtime Protections

Today, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released its highly anticipated final revisions to the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) so-called “white collar” exemptions, the first major update to the federal overtime rules in more than a decade. Although the final rule is somewhat similar to the proposed rule published by the DOL last summer, it … Continue Reading

New York Announces Minimum Wage Increase and Paid Family Leave Program

For any New York employer who thought that the state’s workplace rules and regulations were too easy to comply with, I have good news for you. Empire State lawmakers recently announced an agreement on the 2016-2017 state budget that includes both a complicated, location-specific minimum wage increase, and a comprehensive paid family leave scheme that … Continue Reading

NYC Mulls Bill Requiring Written Independent Contractor Agreements

The New York City Council, long-known for pushing the envelope when it comes to employment legislation, is at it again. The legislature is poised, in the near future, to pass a first-of-its-kind bill that would require written agreements between independent contractors and the entities that engage them (the Bill). The Bill would also impose substantial … Continue Reading

DOL Issues New Guidelines on Joint Employment

The past few weeks have brought us a flurry of activity from federal agencies poised to re-shape the employment landscape, from upending traditional notions of the employment relationship to re-defining what it means to engage in unlawful retaliation. Now, as the dust settles, we will take a look at each of these administrative actions in … Continue Reading
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