Archives: Workplace Laws and Regulations

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High court finds independent contractor truck drivers excluded from FAA

On Tuesday, January 15, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court found that truck drivers classified as independent contractors cannot be compelled to arbitrate their claims under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). See New Prime, Inc. v. Oliveira, No. 17-340, 2019 WL 189342 (U.S. Jan. 15, 2019). This decision has significant ramifications for transportation industry companies that … Continue Reading

Divided D.C. Circuit panel largely upholds the NLRB’s Browning-Ferris decision and challenges the Board’s authority to conduct rulemaking

On December 28, 2018, a divided D.C. Circuit panel affirmed, in part, the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB’s or Board’s) Browning-Ferris joint-employer analysis. See Browning-Ferris Indus. of Cal., Inc. v. NLRB, No. 16-1028 (D.C. Cir. Dec. 28, 2018). The D.C. Circuit’s decision marks the latest chapter in the NLRB’s ever-shifting joint-employer standard. At issue on … Continue Reading

NYC employers must provide lactation rooms effective March 2019

Beginning March 18, 2019, New York City employers with four or more employees will be required to provide lactation rooms to employees upon request. Specifically, under two bills recently passed by New York City Council (Int. No. 879-A and Int. No. 905-A), New York City employers must: Upon request, provide a lactation room and a … Continue Reading

End of year reminder for NY employers: NYC’s cooperative dialogue law is in effect

On October 15, 2018, the New York City Human Rights Law (CHRL) was amended to require employers to engage in a “cooperative dialogue” with individuals who may be entitled to a reasonable accommodation under the CHRL. Whereas federal and state laws require an “interactive process” to determine a reasonable accommodation, the CHRL requires that employers … Continue Reading

NYC may soon require employers to provide paid vacation

New York City is at it again – continuing its quest to be the most employee-friendly jurisdiction in the country. On January 8, 2019, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio announced proposed legislation that would require private employers to provide employees with mandated paid time off/vacation. If passed by the City Council, the law would be … Continue Reading

Illinois mandatory expense reimbursement law now in effect

The new year brought a new concern for Illinois employers: a mandatory expense reimbursement law. As of January 1, 2019, Illinois employers must reimburse all “necessary expenditures” their employees incur in the scope of employment directly related to services performed by the employer. The amendment to the Illinois Wage Payment Collection Act (IWPCA) defines “necessary … Continue Reading

U.S. Department of Labor issues new opinion letters on overtime compliance with varying average hourly rates and on volunteerism

The Acting Administrator for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (“WHD”) issued two new opinion letters on Friday, December 21, 2018. The first opines on whether a home health aide service’s compensation plan, which pays an average hourly rate that may vary from workweek to workweek, complies with the Fair Labor Standards … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court clarifies rules regarding health care employees’ waiver of second meal breaks

In an important decision for California health care employers, the California Supreme Court recently confirmed that certain health care employees are allowed to waive their second meal breaks even if they work more than 12 hours in a shift. History of the Gerard litigation In 2015, the California Court of Appeal shocked health care employers … Continue Reading

Here’s a tip for you: DOL offers new tip credit guidance rescinding 80/20 rule

On November 8, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) re-issued an opinion letter rescinding the “80/20 Rule,” which prohibited employers from taking a tip credit if a tipped employee spent more than 20% of his or her working time on non-tipped work. The DOL’s new guidance provides restaurant and hospitality employers with clarity and … Continue Reading

New Jersey Employers: The State Paid Sick Leave Law Is Now In Effect – Are You Ready?

The New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Act takes effect today, October 29, 2018. Just in time for flu season. If you are a New Jersey employer or an employer with employees in New Jersey, regardless of size or employee number, you are now required by law to provide one hour of sick leave for every … Continue Reading

NY Issues Final Guidance on Key Sexual Harassment Laws – Empire State Employers Must Take Immediate Action

As we previously reported, on October 9, 2018, two landmark New York State laws concerning sexual harassment prevention take effect. These laws require that all Empire State employers: Implement a written sexual harassment prevention policy that meets or exceeds the content of a model sexual harassment prevention policy prepared by State regulators, and Provide employees … Continue Reading

Uber’s arbitration agreements break down drivers’ misclassification suits

Employers considering requiring their employees sign arbitration agreements with class waivers just got a real-world example of the effectiveness of such agreements. On September 25, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld the enforceability of arbitration agreements signed by thousands of Uber drivers in California. In the underlying lawsuits, the Uber … Continue Reading

National Labor Relations Board proposes regulation to establish new joint employer rule

Yesterday, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) announced a much-anticipated proposed regulation to establish a rule-driven standard for determining joint-employer status under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The Board’s proposed rule represents a return to a more common-law-centered understanding of joint-employer relationships, establishing joint employer status based on the exercise of substantial … Continue Reading

New Jersey Federal Judge Finds Medical Marijuana User Cannot Compel Employer to Waive Employment Drug Testing Requirements

The United States District Court of New Jersey recently dismissed an employee’s disability discrimination, failure to accommodate and retaliation claims, holding that neither the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) nor the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act (CUMMA) required the employer to waive its drug testing requirements. In Cotto v. Ardagh Glass Packing, … Continue Reading

Are confidentiality clauses about to become a relic in sexual harassment cases?

With a few minor tweaks here and there, your company has probably relied on the same severance and employment-related settlement agreements for years. Sure, you touch base with your friendly neighborhood employment lawyer from time to time to ensure there haven’t been any significant legal developments that necessitate revisions. But aside from peripheral alterations, these … Continue Reading

Reminder for NY employers: NYC’s Temporary Schedule Change Law is in effect

On July 18, 2018, New York City’s temporary scheduling provisions of the New York City Fair Workweek Law went into effect. As a reminder, this law requires covered employers to grant employees a maximum of two temporary work schedule changes per calendar year for qualifying personal events. Also, the law prohibits employers from retaliating against … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court finds mere minutes matter…sometimes

Today, the California Supreme Court issued its much-anticipated opinion in Troester v. Starbucks Corp., No. S234969 (Cal. July 26, 2018), regarding whether the long-standing de minimis doctrine adopted under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) applies to claims for unpaid wages for minute increments of time under the California Labor Code. The majority opinion … Continue Reading

Reminder for NY employers: key pieces of sexual harassment legislation just took effect

Earlier this year, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law the State’s Budget Bill for fiscal year 2018-19. Astute employers may recall that the Budget Bill has in the past been the Governor’s preferred mechanism for enacting sweeping employment law reforms. For example, the 2016-17 Budget Bill included provisions that will ultimately increase the … Continue Reading

New Jersey Equal Pay Act effective July 1

On July 1, 2018, the Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act becomes effective in New Jersey. The law contains a myriad of requirements, including recordkeeping and anti-retaliation provisions, and it prohibits pay disparities based on an employee’s membership in a protected class (i.e., sex, race, color, age and religion). The law provides a six-year statute … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Rules Class Action Waivers Are Enforceable

On Monday, May 21, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that agreements between employers and employees providing for individualized arbitration proceedings are enforceable. The decision came in a trio of cases, all raising the issue of whether the Federal Arbitration’s Act’s saving clause, which removes the obligation to enforce an arbitration agreement in certain circumstances, … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Holds Worker Classifications Easy As A-B-C

The California Supreme Court handed down its highly anticipated decision in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. The Superior Court of Los Angeles County, No. S222732 (Cal. April 30, 2018), adopting a new legal standard to be used in determining whether workers should be classified as employees or as independent contractors. Specifically, in the unanimous Dynamex … Continue Reading

NY State of Mind: New State and City Laws (Part 4)

This is the fourth in a series of blog posts concerning recent employment law developments in New York State and City: Legislation Update: New York State Legislature Passes Sweeping Anti-Sexual Harassment Legislation The New York State Legislature has had an eventful year and is showing no sign of slowing down. Adding to the growing federal … Continue Reading

NY State of Mind: New State and City Laws (Part 3)

This is the third in a series of blog posts concerning recent employment law developments in New York State and City: The New York City Council is at it again – enacting yet another groundbreaking law intended to create some of the broadest workplace protections in the nation. The law itself – an amendment to … Continue Reading

Supreme Court: Auto Service Advisors Exempt from FLSA Overtime Requirements

Ruling has encouraging implications for all employers Earlier today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that auto service advisors—employees at car dealerships who advise customers about repair work—are exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) overtime requirements. The ruling reverses unexpected decisions by the Department of Labor and the Ninth Circuit that upended what had … Continue Reading
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