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Recent Blog Posts

  • Federal regulations have long provided that employees whose wages are subject to a tip credit must retain all tips they receive, with the exception that customarily tipped employees — i.e. front-of the-house service employees — are permitted to share in tips received. In 2011, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) amended its tip regulations to limit tip pool participation to front-of-the-house employees regardless of whether a tip credit was applied to their wages. Employers and hospitality industry advocacy groups reacted by filing... More
  • As we have discussed previously, in early September the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) withdrew its appeal of last November’s ruling from the Eastern District of Texas preliminarily enjoining the Department’s 2016 Final Rule that, among other things, more than doubled the minimum salary required to satisfy the Fair Labor Standards Act’s executive, administrative, and professional exemptions from $455 per week ($23,660 per year) to $913 per week ($47,476 per year).  The DOL abandoned its appeal in light of the... More
  • Montgomery County, Maryland, where the minimum wage already is $11.50, is set to join two states (California and New York), the neighboring District of Columbia and at least six local jurisdictions (Flagstaff (Arizona), Los Angeles, Minneapolis, San Francisco, San Jose, SeaTac and Seattle) that have enacted legislation increasing the minimum wage for some or all private sector employees to $15 over the next several years. On November 7, 2017 the Montgomery County Council unanimously passed Bill 28-17, which increases the minimum... More
  • Our colleagues Patrick G. Brady and James J. Sawczyn, at Epstein Becker Green, have a post on the Retail Labor and Employment Law blog that will be of interest to many of our readers: “New Jersey’s Appellate Division Finds Part C of the “ABC” Independent Contractor Test Does Not Require an Independent Business” Following is an excerpt: In a potentially significant decision following the New Jersey Supreme Court’s ruling in Hargrove v. Sleepy’s, LLC, 220 N.J. 289 (2015), a New Jersey appellate... More
  • On October 14, 2017, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 1701, which will make general contractors liable for their subcontractors’ employees’ unpaid wages if the subcontractor fails to pay wages due.  The new law will go into effect on January 1, 2018. Specifically, section 218.7 has been added to the Labor Code. Subdivision (a)(1) provides the following: For contracts entered into on or after January 1, 2018, a direct contractor making or taking a contract in the state for the erection,... More
  • It is a common practice for employers to provide their employees with rest breaks during the work day.  (And in some states, like California, it is required by state law.) But under what circumstances is an employer required to pay its employees for break time? In U.S. Department of Labor v. American Future Systems Inc. et al., the Third Circuit Court of Appeals was asked to decide whether the Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to compensate employees for breaks of... More
  • In many industries, sales are subject to ebbs and flows.  Sometimes the fish are biting; sometimes they aren’t. A common device that employers with commissioned salespeople use to take the edge off of the slow weeks and to ensure compliance with minimum wage and overtime laws is the recoverable draw.  Under such a system, an employee who earns below a certain amount in commissions for a given period of time, often a week, receives an advance of as-yet unearned commissions to... More
  • Because of concerns about employee theft, many employers have implemented practices whereby employees are screened before leaving work to ensure they are not taking merchandise with them.  While these practices are often implemented in retail stores, other employers use them as well when employees have access to items that could be slipped into a bag or a purse. Over the last several years, the plaintiffs’ bar has brought a great many class actions and collective actions against employers across the country,... More
  • A year ago, employers across the country prepared for the implementation of a new overtime rule that would dramatically increase the salary threshold for white-collar exemptions, on the understanding that the new rule would soon go into effect “unless something dramatic happens,” a phrase we and others used repeatedly. And, of course, something dramatic did happen—a preliminary injunction, followed by a lengthy appeal, which itself took more left turns following the U.S. presidential election than a driver in a NASCAR race.... More
  • As noted in earlier postings, in March of this year, a federal judge in New York handed Chipotle Mexican Grill a significant victory, denying a request by salaried management apprentices alleging misclassification as exempt from overtime to certify claims for class action treatment under the laws of six states, as well as granting Chipotle’s motion to decertify an opt-in class of 516 apprentices under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).  The plaintiffs then sought—and in July 2017 the U.S. Court... More