Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released the final version of its anticipated overtime exemption rule, setting a new annual salary threshold for “white collar” exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) at just over $35,000 per year.  In the DOL’s press release accompanying the final rule, the agency anticipated its action will “make 1.3 million American workers newly eligible for overtime pay.”  The new rule will take effect on January 1, 2020.[1] Continue Reading Increase in FLSA Overtime Exemption Threshold Expected to Make More than One Million Employees Newly Eligible for Overtime Pay

On September 11, 2019, the California Senate passed Assembly Bill 5 (A.B. 5), which – if signed into law – will codify the so-called “ABC Test” utilized by the California Supreme Court in Dynamex v. Superior Court of Los Angeles to hold that the company’s delivery drivers were employees, not independent contractors, for the purpose of applying California Department of Industrial Relations Wage Orders. The bill, which California Governor Gavin Newsom is expected to sign, will have major implications on so-called “gig economy” workers, potentially leading to many being reclassified as employees rather than independent contractors. Continue Reading Pending Major Worker Reclassification Law Aims to Burst California’s “Gig Economy” Bubble

As the #MeToo movement continues to sweep the country, on August 9, 2019, Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law Illinois Senate Bill 75 (now Public Act 101-0221) which will mandate statewide sexual harassment training for employers in Illinois and add other obligations and restrictions aimed at curbing sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace.

Taking effect in just a few short months, the Act will require at least some policy, practice, and/or contracts revisions by virtually all Illinois employers.

Substantively, Senate Bill 75 amends the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA) and the Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act (VESSA) in numerous significant ways, and enacts the Workplace Transparency Act (WTA) and Hotel and Casino Employee Safety Act.

Unless otherwise noted, these amendments and new laws take effect January 1, 2020. Continue Reading Mandatory Sexual Harassment Training and Other Sweeping #MeToo Protections to Take Effect in Illinois

Last week, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law several amendments to the Illinois Equal Pay Act that are certain to have wide-ranging impacts. Most significantly, Illinois will join the growing number of states that prohibit employers from asking about or considering a job applicant’s prior salary history when making hiring decisions. The amendments will also modify an exception to the equal pay requirement that, in certain circumstances, allows employers to pay different wages to employees who work substantially similar jobs, and the amendments will expand the types and amounts of damages that are available for equal pay violations.

The new laws take effect on September 29, 2019, leaving little time for employers to adjust. Here’s what you need to know. Continue Reading Amendments to the Illinois Equal Pay Act

On July 24, 2019, the Chicago City Council voted to pass the Fair Workweek Ordinance that will require covered employers to, among other things, provide employees with at least 10 days’ advance notice of their work schedules and provide additional compensation to employees for any unscheduled changes to their scheduled work hours. Mayor Lori Lightfoot publically supported and is expected to sign the ordinance, which will go into effect on July 1, 2020. Continue Reading Chicago Fair Workweek Law Set to Impose Sweeping Predictable Workweek Requirements

The haze of Springfield’s recent legislative session has cleared, and Illinois has become the latest state poised to legalize marijuana. Like many other businesses throughout the country, Illinois employers will be faced with the complexity of enforcing their drug and substance abuse policies while their employees have the legal right to use marijuana outside of the workplace. Continue Reading Weeding Out the Issues of Legalizing Recreational Marijuana in Illinois

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has updated last week’s statement, described here, to confirm that in addition to 2018 “Component 2” pay data, it will now also be seeking data for calendar year 2017 by the September 30 deadline.

While EEO-1 compliance for 2019 appears to be a moving target, employers should plan to heed the EEOC’s statement and prepare to comply with the September 30 deadline for Component 2 data for both 2017 and 2018. Continue Reading EEOC Compliance Update: Employers Must Now Also Submit 2017 EEO-1 Component 2 Data by September 30

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued a statement notifying covered entities to prepare to submit EEO-1 “Component 2” pay data for calendar year 2018 by the end of September. According to the Notice of Immediate Reinstatement of Revised EEO-1: Pay Data Collection, the EEOC expects to start collecting this data in mid-July, and in the meantime, filers must still submit their EEO-1 “Component 1” data for calendar year 2018 by the extended May 31, 2019 deadline. In light of these developments, covered employers should, at a minimum, prepare to file 2018 Component 2 pay and hours data by September 30, in addition to filing Component 1 data by May 31. Continue Reading EEOC Compliance Notice: Employers Must File EEO-1 Component 2 Data by September 30

Yesterday, in a 5-4 decision written by Chief Justice John Roberts, the United States Supreme Court held that ambiguous arbitration agreements do not provide the affirmative contractual basis required to send a dispute to classwide arbitration. In so ruling, the Court extended previous pro-business decisions holding that consent to classwide arbitration cannot be inferred from a contract that is “silent” on the issue. This decision is a business- and employer-friendly outcome that affirms the use of efficient and cost-effective individual arbitrations. Continue Reading SCOTUS Deals Another Blow to Classwide Arbitration

On March 7, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced its long-awaited Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to increase the salary threshold for the so-called “white collar exemptions” from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime pay requirements. The proposed rule would raise the required salary level substantially for executive, administrative, and professional employee exemptions from $455 per week ($23,660 per year) to $679 per week ($35,308 per year). According to the DOL, more than one million additional American workers will become eligible for overtime compensation based on this change. The rule does not adjust the duties’ tests for the white collar exemptions. Continue Reading DOL Releases Proposed Higher Salary Threshold for Federal Overtime Exemptions