California has broken with federal precedent once again in favor of its state employees, rejecting application of the Fair Labor Standard Act’s de minimis rule in a lawsuit seeking recovery of unpaid wages under California state law. Under the de minimis doctrine, employers are excused, in some circumstances, from paying employees under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for small amounts of otherwise compensable time worked when that time is administratively difficult to track. The California Supreme Court held last week in Troester v. Starbucks Corporation, that the de minimis doctrine does not apply to claims for unpaid wages under California state law where an employer requires its employees to work small amounts of time off the clock on a regular basis or as a regular feature of the job. Continue Reading California Supreme Court Rejects FLSA’s De Minimis Doctrine
The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Monday, on the eve of National Equal Pay Day, that it violates the Equal Pay Act to use pay history to justify wage gaps between male and female employees for the same or substantially similar work. The decision in Rizo v. Yovino, No. 16-15372 (9th Cir. Apr. 9, 2018) has immediate ramifications for employers in the Ninth Circuit in evaluating employee compensation. Continue Reading Consideration of Pay History to Justify Gender Wage Gaps Held Unlawful by Ninth Circuit on Eve of National Equal Pay Day
Pay Data Requirement for EEO-1 Form Stayed
Earlier this week, the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) initiated an immediate stay of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s revamped Employer Information Report, or EEO-1. As discussed here, an expanded EEO-1 was issued in September 2016, and required employers to submit information on employee pay and hours by job category, in addition to demographic information. The new EEO-1 requirement was to take effect beginning with the next EEO-1 date of March 31, 2018 (changed from previous September 30 submission deadlines.) Continue Reading Important EEO-1 and I-9 Updates
Employers in California now have long-overdue clarity about when their employee schedules comply with California law.
The California Supreme Court last Monday handed down a unanimous opinion, Mendoza v. Nordstrom, Inc., that clarifies the meaning of California’s “day of rest” statutes. These statutes make it illegal for an employer to “cause” an employee to work “more than six days in seven,” unless “the total hours of employment do not exceed . . . six hours in any one day thereof.” Continue Reading Make the Days Count: New California Guidance on Workweek Schedules
In this 20-minute podcast, Hank Sledz and Lauren Novak discuss Congress’ push to allow private companies to offer comp time in lieu of paying time-and-a-half for overtime under the Working Families Flexibility Act, how employer-friendly the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and Department of Labor will be under new leadership, and other important changes during the Trump Administration’s first 100 days that could hurt or help employers.
(Also, tune in to find out if Hank and Lauren’s labor and employment predictions about the new administration from last December were right.)
You can listen to the podcast here.
On Tuesday, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas issued a decision enjoining the Department of Labor (DOL) from enforcing its new overtime rule. State of Nevada et al. v. U.S. Department of Labor et al., case number 16-cv-00731. The new rule, which was announced in May 2016 and was set to become effective on December 1, 2016, sent employers scrambling to comply with a substantial increase to the minimum salary requirements for the white collar exemptions. In his decision, the judge held that the DOL had exceeded its authority in issuing the rule. Continue Reading DOL Overtime Rule Blocked by Federal Court
Another federal court of appeals has weighed in on the question of whether requiring employees to waive the right to bring a class action against their employer in arbitration or court as a condition of employment violates employees’ rights under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Continue Reading Is the Tide Turning Against Class Action Waivers in Arbitration Agreements?
Summer is almost here! With longer days and warmer nights on the horizon, many employers may be thinking about offering shortened or altered work weeks to their employees. Such arrangements can boost employee morale, improve productivity and efficiency, and create an attractive recruiting tool.
A variety of approaches are available to employers interested in implementing a summer hours or flexible work schedule. For example, some employers compress the work week into four days, granting Fridays off; some allow employees to leave work early on certain days without making up the time; and others require employees to report to work earlier than normal, but permit them to leave early or take Friday afternoons off. While choosing which type of summer policy is right for your employees is important, it is also important to keep in mind the legal impact of such decisions. Continue Reading Summer Hours: Make Sure Summertime Flexible Hours Work
In a decision that creates a split with the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, the 7th Circuit on May 26, 2016 adopted the National Labor Relations Board’s D.R. Horton rationale and held that a condition of employment requiring employees to waive the right to bring class or collective actions either in arbitration or in judicial forums runs afoul of Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act, and is unenforceable as illegal. Lewis v. Epic Systems Corporation, No.15-2997 (7th Cir. 2016). Continue Reading 7th Circuit Holds Mandatory Waiver of Class Claims Unlawful; Creates Circuit Court Split
If you read most any national news feed this week you are likely to come across the federal government’s unveiling of the U.S. Department of Labor’s final overtime rule (the Final Rule), which approximately doubles the salary basis test for employees to be eligible for the overtime exemption under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The Final Rule, which will become effective on December 1, 2016, will mean big changes for the way many employers structure personnel and compensation. It is not too late, and certainly not too soon, for employers to start preparing for the increased salary test to take effect. Continue Reading It’s Time to Act: DOL’s New Rule Expanding Overtime Eligibility to Take Effect December 1, 2016