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

The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the use of statistical sampling evidence to establish liability and damages in a “donning and doffing” overtime class action under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and state wage law. Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo, No. 14-1146, 2016 WL 1092414 (U.S. Mar. 22, 2016).

Business groups had urged the Court to prohibit the use of statistical or “representative” evidence in class actions, arguing that a “trial by formula” ignores differences among individual class members and violates a defendant’s due process right to litigate defenses to individual claims. Continue Reading Supreme Court OKs Use of Statistical Sampling in Class Action

March inevitably brings the “madness” associated with the NCAA basketball tournament and office betting pools. Sports gambling is illegal in almost every state, and the NCAA opposes all forms of legal and illegal sports wagering. The American Gaming Association estimated that $9 billion dollars was wagered illegally on the tournament last year alone, and office pools routinely contribute to that annual total. Still, it is a thinly-veiled secret in many organizations that office betting does go on from time to time.  Employers can and do take different approaches to the issue, from looking the other way to disseminating and strictly enforcing a prohibitive policy.  Whatever path management follows, they should do so with their eyes open to the risks—legal and non-legal—related to office gambling. Continue Reading This March, Will Employers Bench Office Betting Pools?

There’s no dissent here.  Justice Scalia’s unexpected passing presents a potential blow to employers in two ways.  First, the Supreme Court lost one of its most staunchly conservative justices, who often sided with management in key employment-related decisions.  Second, his death has left the Supreme Court without a clear majority and no easy mechanism to reverse appellate court decisions favoring employees.  With the 2016 elections nearly eight months away, and the likelihood of a replacement shrinking with each news cycle, 4-4 decisions are probably the new norm until a replacement is confirmed after the election. Continue Reading It’s Unanimous: Employers Face an Uncertain Future After Justice Scalia’s Death

We all know that employers do not receive “time off” from applicable employment laws during the holidays. To avoid unnecessary holiday headaches, be mindful of the following issues as you conduct your workplace holiday staffing and planning.

Comply with your Policies and Collective Bargaining Agreements

Remember to abide by the applicable holiday provisions of your policies, agreements, or collective bargaining agreements. Pay for unworked time on recognized holidays; how time worked on holidays is computed or paid; and eligibility requirements for receipt of holiday pay are often a matter of policy or contract. Breaching such provisions—or disparately enforcing them—can give rise to a claim, charge, or grievance. Continue Reading Let’s Talk Turkey: Wage/Hour and Other Laws to Feast on Over Thanksgiving

California’s new Fair Pay Act amends existing law to enact what is widely being considered as the most stringent equal pay law in the country.  The Fair Pay Act will amend existing law in a number of significant ways, making it easier for employees to bring equal pay suits against their employers.  Under previous law, an employee had to show that he or she was being paid less than an opposite sex colleague who was performing “equal work.”  The new law will allow employees to compare their pay with colleagues who hold different, but “similar” positions, regardless of job title. It goes into effect January 1, 2016. Continue Reading California Adopts Most Stringent Equal Pay Law in the Nation

Employment law loomed large on the Supreme Court’s docket this term. In seven highly anticipated cases, the Court interpreted federal employment statutes from Title VII and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act to FLSA and ERISA.

While employers received favorable rulings in some cases, the Court’s decisions regarding religious discrimination and the accommodation of pregnant workers could impact employers’ current practices and policies. Employers should review hiring, accommodation, and other policies—even those that are facially neutral—to ensure compliance with the Court’s recent holdings. Continue Reading Employment Law Highlights from the Supreme Court’s Current Term

To help employers prepare for the new year, this Alert addresses certain legislative developments in 2015 that are likely to affect employers this year under federal law as well as in Illinois, California, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Washington D.C., Georgia, Michigan and Texas. Continue Reading 2015 Legislative Developments

Employers can breathe a momentary sigh of relief as a result of the recent Supreme Court decision issued in Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk, a case that resolved the issue of whether employers are required to compensate their employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for time spent passing through mandatory security screenings at the close of the workday. In reversing a decision issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in favor of the employees, the Supreme Court ruled that such time is not compensable under the FLSA because the security screenings are not an “intrinsic element” of the activities that the employees were employed to perform and therefore do not meet the Court’s previously established “integral and indispensable” test. Continue Reading U.S. Supreme Court Holds That Employee Compensation is Not Required for Workplace Security Screenings