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The holiday season is the perfect time to reflect on the prior year and plan for the upcoming one.  In 2018, a spotlight was directed at sexual harassment issues, leading to significant upcoming changes in some states’ employment laws.  Likewise, mandatory paid sick leave became a major 2018 issue that has led to changes for many employers.

Topics: Minimum Wage

On December 4, 2017, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced proposed changes that could have a large impact on many businesses that employ tipped workers. Citing changes in state laws and significant litigation involving tip pooling, the DOL is considering rescinding certain restrictions on tip pooling for employers who do not claim a tip credit against the federal minimum wage. A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding these potential changes was published on December 5, 2017 for public comment.

The minimum wage requirements in different states, cities and counties across the country became even more of a patchwork on New Year’s day, with fourteen states adopting increased minimum wages above the federal standard of $7.25 per hour. Such states include California, Massachusetts, Michigan and Nebraska. More than a dozen cities and counties also increased their minimum wages at the end of 2015 or will do so in the Summer of 2016. Employers should pay close attention to minimum wage increases at the state and local level, because they can impact more than just employees earning the current minimum wage.

Topics: Minimum Wage

With holiday parties behind us and companies settling back into their normal routines, it’s the perfect time to highlight some recent changes in California employment law that may require your attention. Some of the laws outlined below, including the California Fair Pay Act, changes to piece-rate compensation requirements, and expanded anti-retaliation protections, may necessitate revisions to existing company policies or creation of new policies. 

Employee claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for unpaid minimum wages are routinely dismissed where the employer can demonstrate that wages, when averaged across work hours in a week, meet or exceed the minimum wage.  However, a federal judge in the District of Rhode Island has given plaintiffs an alternative argument to avoid such dismissal, which employers should note.  

Topics: Minimum Wage

Are you paying the intern you just sent out to grab your morning cup of coffee?  If not, you may have a wage and hour violation on your hands.  Private employers have increasingly come under attack over their use of unpaid interns by the Department of Labor and private litigants.  This is especially the case where an unpaid intern performs tasks more akin to an administrative assistant than an on-the-job student/trainee.

On Tuesday, May 27, 2014, Michigan’s House and Senate reached a bipartisan agreement to raise the state’s minimum wage by 25 percent over the next four years, to $9.25 an hour by January 1, 2018.

Employers should be vigilant, now more than ever, concerning the steps they take to ensure compliance with wage and hour laws.

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