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.

Continue reading

18 States Set to Ring in the New Year with Minimum Wage Increases

Wage Hour - social, smallExecutive Summary: With 2018 winding down, employers should be prepared for the minimum wage increases that are expected in the New Year. Even though the federal minimum wage has stagnated at $7.25 per hour since 2009, state legislatures have been active in increasing their respective minimum wage rates. In 2019, 21 states will increase their state’s minimum wage rate, with 18 of those increases taking effect on New Year’s Day or New Year’s Eve. Continue reading

New York City Enacts Mandatory Minimum Wage for App-Hail Drivers

Ferrier, Valerie - 300dpi
Valerie Ferrier

Executive Summary: On December 4, 2018, the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) adopted rules mandating a minimum wage for app-hailed drivers. According to the TLC, approximately 80,000 affected drivers stand to earn an average of $10,000 more per year. FordHarrison recently wrote about the New York City Council’s (“the Council”) adoption of a suite of regulations targeting the app-hail industry: https://www.fordharrison.com/new-york-city-considering-mandatory-minimum-wage-for-app-hail-driversContinue reading

Austin’s Third Court of Appeals Holds Austin’s Paid Sick Leave Ordinance Unconstitutional

Austin’s paid sick leave ordinance, which was supposed to go into effect this past October, has been held unconstitutional by the Third Court of Appeals in Austin. The court of appeals held that the ordinance establishes a “wage” and, as such, it is preempted by Texas Minimum Wage Act. The Texas Minimum Wage Act specifically precludes municipalities from regulating the wages paid by employers who are subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and specifically provides that the Texas Minimum Wage Act supersedes a “wage” established in an ordinance governing wages in private employment. The court of appeals remanded the case back to the district court, instructing the lower court to grant the State’s application for temporary injunction and for further proceedings consistent with its ruling. Continue reading

New Illinois Laws Require Employers to Reevaluate Policies and Practices

Wage Hour - social, smallBreaks for Expressing Breastmilk Must Be Paid

Effective August 21, 2018, Illinois amended its Nursing Mothers in the Workplace Act (820 ILCS 260/10). The prior law, which went into effect in 2001, required employers who have more than five employees to provide unpaid break time to an employee who needed to express breast milk for her nursing infant child. The amendment now requires employers to pay for “reasonable” break time spent expressing breast milk, no matter how long it takes or how often it needs to occur. A limit of up to one year after the birth has now replaced a previously undefined period.  Continue reading