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  • A Maine dairy company has received a potentially expensive grammar lesson from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, which held on March 13, 2017, that the company’s delivery drivers may be eligible for up to $10 million in overtime pay, because the lack of a comma in the statute regarding exemptions from the state’s wage and hour law rendered the scope of the exemption ambiguous. Grammarians have long disputed whether writers should include a comma before the final... More
  • Featured on Employment Law This Week – California health care workers can still waive some breaks. In February 2015, a California appeals court invalidated an order from the Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) that allowed health care workers to waive certain meal breaks. The court found the order, which allowed the workers to miss one of their two meal periods when working over eight hours, was in direct conflict with the California Labor Code. The state legislature then passed a new law... More
  • A little more than two years ago, we wrote about how a California Court of Appeal’s decision exposed health care employers to litigation if they relied upon IWC Wage Order 5 for meal period waivers. That decision was Gerard v. Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center (“Gerard I”), where the Court of Appeal concluded that IWC Wage Order 5 was partially invalid to the extent it authorized second meal period waivers on shifts over 12 hours. Much has happened since then. After... More
  • On February 28, 2017, the California Court of Appeal issued its opinion in Vaquero v. Stoneledge Furniture, LLC. The opinion provides guidance to California employers who pay their hourly employees on a commission basis but do not pay separate compensation for time spent during rest periods. In the case, the employer kept track of hours worked and paid hourly sales associates on a commission basis where, if an employee failed to earn a minimum amount in commissions – comprising of at... More
  • The Missouri Supreme Court has overturned a lower court’s ruling that St. Louis’ minimum wage ordinance is invalid, finding that the ordinance is not preempted by the state law. St. Louis City’s Ordinance 70078 (“the Ordinance”) provides for a series of increases to the minimum wage for employees working within the boundaries of St. Louis. The plaintiffs argued that Ordinance 70078 was preempted by the state minimum wage law.  The plaintiffs contended that state law affirmatively authorized employers to pay as... More
  • Featured on Employment Law This Week: The U.S. Supreme Court takes on class action waivers. In 2012, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that class action waivers in arbitration agreements violate employees’ rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second, Fifth, and Eighth Circuits disagreed, finding that these waivers do not violate the NLRA and are enforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act. More recently, the Seventh and Ninth Circuits sided with the NLRB on... More
  • As we previously discussed here, acting on behalf of the Department of Labor (“DOL”), the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) urged the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to expedite briefing on its interlocutory appeal of a Texas district court’s nationwide preliminary injunction barring implementation and enforcement of the new overtime rule that would double the minimum salary threshold for white-collar exemptions, among other things. The injunction was issued just days before the rule was to go into effect on December 1,... More
  • In the new issue of Take 5, our colleagues examine five employment, labor, and workforce management issues that will continue to be reviewed and remain top of mind for employers under the Trump administration: Change in Labor Landscape Is Not Likely to Come Quickly For Wage and Hour Changes, Look Locally Employer Group Health Plans Post-ACA: What’s Next for Employers and Workers? Examination of Retirement Plans Under a Trump Administration Microscope Cyber Threats Are Front and Center for Employers as the Trump Administration Takes Office Read... More
  • On January 13, 2017, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari to hear three cases involving the enforceability of arbitration agreements that contain class action waivers. Whether such agreements are enforceable has been a hotly contested issue for several years now, particularly in cases involving wage-hour disputes. The Fifth Circuit has held that such waivers can be enforceable (NLRB v. Murphy Oil, Inc.), joining the Second and Eighth Circuits in that conclusion. The Seventh (Epic Systems, Inc. v. Lewis) and Ninth Circuits... More
  • The District Court for the Eastern District of Texas has denied the U.S. Department of Labor’s application to stay the case in which the district court enjoined the DOL’s new overtime regulations. The DOL had asked the court for a stay while the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals considered an interlocutory appeal of the injunction. As wage and hour practitioners know: In May 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor announced that it would implement new regulations increasing the salary threshold for the... More