Today we continue with our Year in Review segment, which looks at the key labor & employment law developments from 2016 in New York, the DC Metro Area, Massachusetts, and California, while offering our thoughts about 2017.  Today we turn to the DC Metro Area.  In addition, please join us in NYC on April 6, 2017 for Mintz Levin’s Third Annual Employment Law Summit as we address some of the key labor & employment issues impacting employers in 2017.  Register here

——————

The District of Columbia, Maryland (including Montgomery County) witnessed an active 2016 with respect to new and amended workplace laws that impose additional responsibilities on employers, and expand employee rights and avenues of enforcement.  Employers should be aware of these new requirements and take immediate action to comply with them.  We highlight below the most significant updates in both D.C. and Maryland; there were no changes or additions of significance in Virginia.

Continue Reading 2016 DC Metro Area Employment Law Year In Review

Over the next two weeks we will release our Year in Review segment, which will look at the key labor & employment law developments from 2016 in New York, the DC Metro Area, Massachusetts, and California while offering our thoughts about 2017.  Today we kick off this segment with New York.  In addition, please join us in NYC on April 6, 2017 for Mintz Levin’s Third Annual Employment Law Summit as we address some of the key labor & employment issues impacting employers in 2017.  Register here

2016 brought big changes for New York State and City employers, including expansive new discrimination protections and substantial increases in the minimum wage and exempt salary thresholds.  While New York employers who successfully navigated 2016’s rush of legislative, regulatory and judicial obstacles might feel they’ve earned the right to shift their focus back from compliance issues to running their businesses, they should not lose sight of the additional challenges expected in 2017.

Continue Reading 2016 New York Employment Law Year In Review

Since a Texas federal judge blocked the U.S. Department of Labor’s overtime rule from taking effect in November, human resource managers, payroll professionals and employment attorneys (including over here at Employment Matters) have been abuzz about the fact that, at least for now, employers do not need to make sweeping changes to their compensation practices to comply with the rule.  What has been less discussed, however, is the impact on New York employers of the New York State Department of Labor’s amendments to New York’s Wage Orders, which become effective on Saturday, December 31, 2016, and which will, among other things, significantly increase the State’s minimum wage rate as well as its the minimum salary thresholds for individuals classified as exempt executives and administrative employees.

The NYSDOL had proposed these changes several months ago and the comment period ended back on December 3rd.  But the final rule was issued just yesterday, unchanged from its proposed form.  With the clock ticking, New York employers must and should pay immediate attention to these changes and should act quickly to fulfill their ongoing notice and posting obligations while adjusting compensation levels accordingly.  We summarize the Wage Order amendments below.

Continue Reading New York State Minimum Wage Rate and Exemption Salary Thresholds Set to Increase

California and New York have each passed laws that will gradually raise their state’s minimum wage rate to $15 per hour.  This is a stunning development coming just four years after a small group of New York fast food workers initiated the call for the increase.  The new laws will impact millions of Americans and put pressure on other jurisdictions and business to make similar increases in other parts of the country.  We briefly break down the new laws below.

Continue Reading California and New York Approve Phased-In $15 Per Hour Minimum Wage, Highest in Country’s History

A U.S. Department of Labor final regulation prohibiting third-party home care agencies and other third-party employers from taking advantage of the Companionship and Live-In Domestic Worker minimum wage and overtime exemptions is set to go into effect on October 13, 2015.

Continue Reading Update on the Fight Over the Companionship and Live-In Domestic Worker FLSA Exemptions: Final Rule Set to Go Into Effect on October 13, 2015

A panel appointed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recommended a minimum hourly wage increase to $15 for fast food service workers on Wednesday.  The recommendation comes just three months after Governor Cuomo tasked the state’s acting Labor Commissioner to empanel a Wage Board to investigate and make recommendations on increasing the minimum wage in the fast food industry.

Continue Reading New York Becomes First State to Raise Minimum Wage to $15 … For Fast Food Workers

On January 14, 2015, Judge Richard J. Leon of the DC Federal District Court issued another favorable opinion for home care employers by vacating a Department of Labor regulation that would have narrowed the definition of “companionship services.” The decision comes on the heels of another decision by Judge Leon last month in which he vacated another proposed regulation that would have prevented third-party home agencies from applying the companionship exemption to its employees.

Continue Reading The Companionship Exemption Remains: DC District Court’s Most Recent Decision in Home Care Association of America v. Weil Marks Second Victory for Home Care Employers; DOL Appeals

Written by Michael Arnold

It felt like we were in a dream. Or maybe San Diego. Day after day, 82 degrees and little humidity. In a word: pleasant. We know next summer probably won’t be the same, but we sure enjoyed this one. That’s right – this was the “coldest” summer in New York’s history. And the same can probably be said for many employers in the media, entertainment and retail industries who are battling unpaid interns in the courtroom.  Each week seemed to bring us another unpaid intern class action lawsuit: Oscar de la Renta, Coach, Donna Karen and Sirius XM to name a few. And courts continued to certify classes in existing unpaid intern lawsuits: Warner Music and Gawker for example. Many of these employers may be on the hook for millions of dollars in back wages, liquidated damages and attorneys’ fees.

Continue Reading Employment Law Summer Recap 2014: Part 8 of 11 – New York’s Coldest Summer, Especially for Employers Who Utilized Unpaid Interns

Written by Jillian Collins

McDonald’s, the fast food giant known for supersizing its orders, avoided conditional certification of an FLSA collective action this week based on the “very large” size of the putative class. The Eastern District of Michigan denied plaintiffs’ motion for conditional collective action certification in two related cases based on allegations that McDonald’s and several franchisees failed to pay workers minimum wage.

Continue Reading Putative Class Members Not Lovin’ It – Court Denies Conditional Certification of Supersized McDonald’s FLSA Class of More Than 1,000

Written by Michael Arnold

This summer, those (31?) of us who watched Chris Pratt steal scene after scene in Parks & Recreation saw him ripen into the star we always hoped he’d become. First he charmed audiences as the voice of Emmett in the Lego Movie (you know, the one that easily broke the record for most references that went over your kid’s head in a G-rated movie). Then he dazzled audiences as Peter Quill, the fun-loving action hero, in the top-grossing movie of the summer Guardians of the Galaxy. Overall, an unexpected, but welcomed surprise.

Also unexpected, but a welcomed surprise: the California Supreme Court siding with an employer in a wage and hour class action case.

Continue Reading Employment Law Summer Recap 2014: Part 4 of 11 – Chris Pratt and Unexpected Surprises in Hollywood and the World of California Employment Law