Renewed Increases to the White Collar Salary Threshold on the Horizon

Gray, Kristin - 300dpi
Kristin Gray

In 2016, as employers scrambled to prepare to comply with the U.S. Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) “final rule,” which more than doubled the minimum salary threshold needed to meet the “white collar” exemptions by, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued an injunction blocking it.  Now, the DOL is expected to issue a new Notice of Proposed Rulemaking—possibly this month—increasing the salary threshold for these exemptions.  Continue reading

U.S. Department of Labor’s New Guidance, Compliance Tool, and Leadership

Adams, Julie 300dpi
Julie Adams

February has been a busy month for the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”).  The Wage and Hour Division (“WHD”) published new guidance addressing tipped employees and payment of subminimum wages and released a new compliance tool.  The DOL also named a new Acting Wage and Hour Administrator.  Employers should review these new publications and developments for applicability to their workforce: Continue reading

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