Are Religious Organizations Subject to the Laws of Man?

Douglas, Jeff - 300dpi
Jeffrey Douglas

In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed the existence and applicability of the ministerial exception in employment discrimination cases. See Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church & Sch. v. EEOC, 565 U.S. 171 (2012).  After conducting an exhaustive analysis of the history of separation of church and state including its origin in the first sentence of the Magna Carta, its merger during the reign of King Henry VIII, and its re-separation during the founding of this country, the Court concluded that the ministerial exemption is a critical safeguard against governmental interference in religious matters. Continue reading

After the Scare: Sixth Circuit says Insurance Agents Are Still Independent Contractors

Close, Grant - 300dpi
Grant Close

Last week, many insurance carriers breathed a sigh of relief when the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals held that more than 700 American Family Life Insurance agents were properly classified as independent contractors, not employees.  The case is Jammal v. American Family Life Insurance Company, 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 2905.  Continue reading

Supershuttle Transports Independent Contractor Status into the Spotlight

 

Harkavy, Michelle - 300dpi
Michelle Harkavy

Executive Summary: On January 25, 2019, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) affirmed the Acting Regional Director’s determination that franchisees who drive for SuperShuttle are independent contractors, not statutory employees, and therefore are unable to organize or join a union. See SuperShuttle DFW, Inc., and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1338(Case 16-RC-010963). In reaching this decision, the Board shifted the analysis back to the common-law agency test it has long used for determining when a worker will be considered an independent contractor rather than an employee for purposes of coverage under the National Labor Relations Act (NRLA). The Board’s decision in SuperShuttle emphasizes the role of entrepreneurial opportunity and rejects the overemphasis placed on “right to control” by its 2014 decision in FedEx Home Delivery, 361 NLRB 610 (2014). Continue reading

Michigan Legislature Alters the Minimum Wage

Ferrier, Valerie - 300dpi
Valerie Ferrier

In the past few years, in order to keep pace with their relative costs of living, states and localities across the country have increased their minimum wage in excess of the federal rate, which has remained unchanged at $7.25 per hour for the past decade. Last year, the One Fair Wage campaign, which promotes an increase in the minimum wage, particularly for restaurant workers who depend on tips for most of their income, supported a citizen-driven ballot measure that would have increased Michigan’s minimum wage to $12 per hour by 2022. The state’s minimum wage, as of 2018, was $9.25 per hour. Continue reading

The Writing is on the Wall: A $15 Minimum Wage Edges Toward the New Normal

Ferrier, Valerie - 300dpi
Valerie Ferrier

Executive Summary: As Democrats take over the House of Representatives this month, some will be pushing to increase the federal minimum wage, which has remained stagnant at $7.25 per hour for the past decade. Not content to wait for Congress, the “Fight for 15” movement has scored victories throughout the country by increasing wages locally. Many states and localities will be or have already begun raising the minimum wage incrementally until they reach $15. Against this shifting backdrop, employers with operations in multiple cities need to be aware of different minimum wage rates that may be applicable in certain localities, even if such rates differ from those in the rest of the state.

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California Permits Waiver Of Second Meal Period For Health Care Employees

 

Boughton, Ross - 300dpi
Ross Boughton

Executive Summary

In Gerard v. Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center, 2018 Cal. LEXIS 9500 (Dec. 10, 2018), the final chapter of long-running saga that has produced multiple published decisions, the Supreme Court of California finally brought clarity to an unresolved question for California’s health care employers: can health care employees lawfully waive their second meal period for shifts longer than 12 hours?  In Gerard, the Supreme Court of California answered with a clear “yes.”  Continue reading