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
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
Beginning January 1, 2019, California now imposes broader requirements on employers for providing lactation accommodations to employees needing to express milk for their newborn children. Continue reading
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (“DOL”) is currently conducting a survey seeking information from employers on wages paid to construction workers in 46 metropolitan North Carolina counties on all active building projects. The DOL is seeking this information to establish prevailing wage rates required under the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts (“DBRA”). Continue reading
With the November election results (finally) in the rear view, businesses should be prepared to comply with upcoming minimum wage increase obligations, including increases resulting from the election. Specifically, companies with operations in Arkansas and Missouri must be aware that in the recent election, voters chose to increase their state minimum wage rates as of January 1, 2019. Arkansas increased its minimum wage from $8.50/hour to $9.25/hour on January 1, 2019 and will increase the rate to $11.00/hour by January 1, 2021. Missouri voters approved an increase from $7.85/hour to $8.60/hour on January 1, 2019 and to $12.00/hour over the next five years. Continue reading
U.S. Secretary of Labor, Alexander Acosta, recently formed the U.S. Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) new Office of Compliance Initiatives (“OCI”). The stated purpose of the OCI, according to the DOL’s website, is in part to “promote greater understanding of federal labor laws and regulations, allowing job creators to prevent violations and protect Americans’ wages, workplace safety and health, retirement security, and other rights and benefits.” To this end, the OCI focuses on education to ensure compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). Continue reading
On November 8, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) re-issued an opinion letter abandoning the “80/20 Rule,” which prohibited employers from taking a tip credit if a tipped employee spent more than 20% of his or her working time on non-tipped work.
The opinion letter is a re-issuance of one previously published on January 16, 2009 by the Bush administration. The letter, however, was withdrawn once President Obama took office. The DOL’s new guidance provides restaurant and hospitality employers with clarity and a more practical approach defining when a tip credit can be taken. Continue reading