Webinar! – Wage/Hour Check Up: Assessing the Health of Your Compensation Policies

Calendar - social-02About the Program 
When was the last time your wage and hour practices had a check up? Join FordHarrison attorneys Michelle Harkavy and Joanna Rich, members of our Wage & Hour Practice Group, for the second installment in a series of wage and hour presentations aimed at understanding and defending against claims brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) as they guide you through investigating, diagnosing, and remedying your wage and hour weaknesses, including:

  • Are Your Policies In Alignment With Your Practices?
  • What Are Your Wage/Hour Pain Points? Compensable Time, Computing Overtime Premiums, and Recordkeeping
  • Is Your Recordkeeping True And Accurate?
  • Wage and Hour Claims – Are You Ignoring Red Flags?
  • Are You Ready For A Department of Labor Audit?

This webinar was recorded on May 10, 2018 – click here to view recording.

Wage & Hour Practice Group Webinar Series
March 22, 2018 – Part I – Winning on the Front End: Implementing Wage/Hour Policies to Best Defend Against Class and Collective Actions – click here to view recording

NEW LAW: New Jersey Now has the Broadest Pay Equity Law in the United States

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Sal Simao

Executive Summary: Today, April 24, 2018, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law amendments to the state discrimination law that include sweeping pay equity protections. This amendment makes New Jersey’s law one of the broadest equal pay statutes in the country. Under the new law, it is unlawful for anyone who is in a “protected class” to receive lower pay or benefits for substantially similar work, unless the employer can demonstrate this differential is based on criteria permitted under the law. Employers are also prohibited from reducing employee wages to achieve compliance with the law. Although the law provides for a six-year statute of limitations, it also adopts a continuing violation doctrine, which could make this statute of limitations irrelevant in many cases, potentially resulting in liability for numerous years. The law also provides for treble damages and prohibits the waiver of rights under the Act or the shortening of the statute of limitations by agreement. Due to the already broad nature of New Jersey’s law against discrimination, this amendment further increases the potential for large scale litigation and large verdicts against employers, specifically those who fail to audit their payrolls for unintentional disparities. The law essentially requires employers to consider the adoption of uniform pay scales or face potential litigation. Interestingly, the most important term in the law, “substantially similar work,” is left undefined, meaning it will need to be defined by the courts through litigation. However, the legislative intent is to make this a broader standard than equal work, which is the standard in most states. Continue reading

Massachusetts and the Ninth Circuit: Recent Ban On Using Prior Salary as Basis for Gender Pay Gap

Executive Summary: The federal Equal Pay Act already imposes limitations on employers when it comes to compensating employees of the opposite sex for equal work. With a recent legislative change in Massachusetts and a decision earlier this month out of the Ninth Circuit, however, several jurisdictions now prohibit the use of prior salary as a justification for any pay differential between men and women. Continue reading

Supreme Court Rules that Service Advisors at Automotive Dealerships are Exempt from Overtime and Rejects Principle that Exemptions to FLSA Should be Construed Narrowly

 

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Rick Warren
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Kimberly Ross

Executive Summary: On April 2, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in Encino Motorcars, LLC v. Navarro that service advisors at automotive dealerships are exempt from overtime. The exemption at issue involves “any salesman, partsman or mechanic primarily engaged in selling or servicing automobiles.” 29 U.S.C. 213 (b)(10). The Supreme Court reversed the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals which had ruled that based on a plain reading of statutory text, principles of statutory interpretation (narrow construction of FLSA exemptions), and legislative history, the exemption does not encompass service advisors. 

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Who Won? – The New Tip Pool Law

On March 23rd, President Trump signed into law a massive spending bill. Buried on page 2025 of the spending bill, available here, is the following amendment to Section 203(m) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the federal wage-hour law: “An employer may not keep tips received by its employees for any purposes, including allowing managers or supervisors to keep any portion of employees’ tips, regardless of whether or not the employer takes a tip credit.” The new law also states that any employers who violate this rule will be liable to the employees in the amount of the tips that were taken, “an additional equal amount as liquidated damages,” and “a civil penalty not to exceed $1,100 for each such violation,” as the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) shall determine. The back story to this change in the wage-hour law is important to understanding its impact on wage-hour enforcement going forward.

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