As everyone knows, an historic midterm election occurred this week. Early projections from The New York Times estimate that more than 114 million ballots were case this year, which presents an increase of almost 30 million votes from the 2014 midterms. The big take-aways include the Democrats retaking control of the House and the Republicans retaining their majority in the Senate. Also, a record number of female candidates (more than 250) and people of color (almost 200) ran for office in this election, with many of these candidates throwing their hats in the ring for the very first time. Not surprisingly, health care, immigration and the economy were at the top of the list for voters during exit poll interviews. Continue reading
Background: The Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and Florida minimum wage law allow an employer to take a tip credit toward its minimum wage obligation for “tipped employees”. A “tipped employee” is an employee who customarily and regularly receives more than $30 per month in tips. 29 U.S.C. § 203(t). An employer is permitted to take a tip credit equal to the difference between the minimum wage (currently $8.25 in Florida) and the required cash wage (currently must be at least $5.23 in Florida). Thus, the maximum tip credit that an employer can currently claim under the FLSA and Florida law is $3.02 per hour ($8.25 – $5.23). Continue reading
The U.S. Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) “80/20 Rule” has caused significant anxiety and concern for employers in the restaurant industry and other industries with tipped employees. A recent spate of nation-wide class action litigation is leading to record-setting settlements for restaurant employers. However, in a recent lawsuit filed in the Western District of Texas, Restaurant Law Center, et al. v. United States Department of Labor, 18-cv-567 (W.D.Tex.), national and local restaurant groups hope to bring an end to this wave of litigation by seeking to invalidate the 80/20 Rule. Continue reading
Executive Summary: The New York City Council (“the Council”) has adopted a suite of regulations of the app-hail ride industry. FordHarrison recently wrote about the minimum wage proposal: https://www.fordharrison.com/new-york-city-considering-mandatory-minimum-wage-for-app-hail-drivers. Continue reading
North Carolina, like many other states in the Southeast, rarely takes the prize when it comes to being a trailblazer for employment laws. Instead, states such as California, New York or Oregon are the usual suspects for such distinctions. However, on July 1, 2018, North Carolina did become the first state in the nation to increase the minimum wage for most of its state employees to $15 per hour (which would equate to a minimum of $31,200, annually). New York, by contrast, does not plan to reach the $15 per hour minimum wage milestone for its state employees until 2021. Continue reading
Executive Summary: Earlier this week, in Lewis v. Governor of Alabama, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 20635, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals resurrected a lawsuit alleging Alabama’s predominantly-white state legislature discriminated against the workers in Birmingham, a predominantly black city, by overriding the city’s ordinance to increase the city’s minimum wage. While changes to the minimum wage often elicit strong opinions from employers, workers, and other interested parties, few laws have engendered the passions and inspired the racially-charged allegations presented in Lewis. As discussed below, in light of the Eleventh Circuit’s recent opinion, employers and workers in Birmingham must continue to wait to see if the city’s increased minimum wage will ever take effect.
Executive Summary: On July 13, 2018, the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued a Field Assistance Bulletin (“FAB”) aimed at clarifying the standard utilized to determine if home care workers qualify as employees or joint employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). Over the past few years, the DOL has issued and then withdrawn guidance regarding the proper standard and evaluation of home worker classification, leaving uncertainty for the industry. The new guidance provides clarity on the subject and provides home care registries a road map for proper classification.