Happy New Year to all of our readers!!!  This is just a friendly reminder that our Second Annual Workplace Law Summit is quickly approaching.  It will take place on January 28, 2016 in midtown Manhattan.  Seating is limited so please register now.

This dynamic event will feature Commissioner Carmelyn P. Malalis speaking about New York City’s new discrimination laws and enforcement guidance (including regarding credit checks, criminal history, gender identity/expression and caregiver status discrimination) along with recent Commission initiatives.  It will also offer various segments on the most important issues facing senior executives, HR professionals, and in-house counsel as they enter 2016: wage and hour, leave management, handbooks, ACA, and more.  CLE and HR credit are both available.

This event is intended for HR Professionals, in-house counsel and senior executives.

For more information and to register, click here. We look forward to seeing you there.

And stay tuned for future blog posts previewing our 2016 Employment Law Summit event – first one goes live tomorrow.

 

July 2016.  That’s when the final rule on the white collar overtime exemptions is expected to be published by the DOL – this according to the OMB’s Fall 2015 Unified Agenda and Regulatory Plan released last Thursday.  Just one week earlier the Solicitor of Labor, M. Patricia Smith, reportedly told attendees at a conference that the DOL was targeting a release in “late 2016.”

Thus, given the continued uncertainties surrounding the timing of the release, employers should continue to take steps now to prepare for any changes to the rule, which, in its current form, would dramatically increase the number of employees eligible for overtime pay.  We, of course, will continue to update you about any developments.

The Department of Labor’s proposed overhaul of the white-collar exemption overtime regulations, which could expand overtime eligibility to an estimated 4.6 million workers, may not go into effect on the breakneck timeline that employers feared.  According to the Wall Street Journal, the Solicitor of Labor recently indicated that the final rule likely will not be published before late 2016, which would give employers a much longer runway to prepare for the changes before they go into effect. The revelation is welcome news to many employers who were bracing for the rule to be published later this year or early 2016.

The DOL is currently proposing to more than double the minimum annual salary threshold, which hasn’t been updated since 2004, but it hasn’t said whether it will change the relevant job duties test along with the salary bump.  Given the high stakes, the DOL received more than 250,000 public comments on the proposed rule this summer.  We will continue to update you as we learn more.

Written by Angel Feng

A New York federal court recently said that the plaintiff-employees involved in a wage and hour lawsuit are not required to produce their immigration documents and information.  The case is important because it limits an employer’s ability to defend against such claims based on their workers’ potential illegal immigration status.

Continue Reading Immigration-Related Documents and Information Not Discoverable in Wage and Hour Lawsuit

Recently, Wage and Hour Division (WHD) Administrator David Weil announced that the DOL would issue an “administrator interpretation” letter early this summer on how an employer can best address whether an individual qualifies as an independent contractor.  While the Supreme Court held earlier this year that such government agency interpretive guidance is not subject to notice and public comment and therefore, does not carry the “force and effect of law,” the guidance is nevertheless welcome in providing clarification on a difficult and ambiguous area of law.

Continue Reading Federal Guidance on Independent Contractors on Its Way This Summer

The D.C. Mayor’s office recently issued employee pay notices templates that employers may use to satisfy the pay notice requirements under D.C.’s new Wage Theft Prevention Amendment Act.  The Act, which took effect on February 26, 2015, requires employers, among other things, to provide written pay notices to all new employees at the time of hire, and to existing employees by May 27, 2015.  The Department of Employment Services’ website has now made available a template for general employers and a template for temporary staffing firms.  Employers should now move forward with providing notices to all new and existing employees, but they need only do so in English and not in the employee’s primary language unless and until the Mayor’s office releases a template in that language.

Though snow still blankets the ground in many states and winter continues to drag on, there is a telltale sign that spring is nigh: daylight savings time begins on Sunday March 8, 2015 at 2:00 a.m.  At that time, the clocks “spring” forward from 2:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m. – a change that carries several implications for employers.

Continue Reading Daylight Savings Time Begins Sunday; When “Springing Forward” Employers Should Make Sure to Stick the Landing

employee appreciation day“And you’re wondering . . . am I appreciated . . . I’m not really appreciated, should I play like I’m appreciated, but I’m not that appreciated . . .but I think my employer might appreciate me . . . but do I want to be appreciated . .. but now my employer doesn’t really appreciate me . . . and then all of the sudden I’m getting, I’m starting to be appreciated.  Jeremy Grey, Workplace Crashers (2005)

Okay, so I retooled that quote and the movie title slightly, but it still makes me laugh and certainly works as a nicer teaser to a post on Employee Appreciation Day, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary tomorrow, Friday, March 6.

Continue Reading Some Thoughts on Employee Appreciation Day, including a Potential Wage and Hour Pitfall

Written by Michael Arnold and Kevin McGinty

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has released its much-anticipated decision in Roach v. T.L Cannon Corp., addressing the Supreme Court’s Comcast Corp. v. Behrend decision in connection with a wage and hour class action lawsuit.  Simply stated: the Second Circuit held that Comcast does not prevent class certification solely because plaintiffs cannot measure damages on a classwide basis.  Generally, this means that wage and hour class action plaintiffs’ attorneys – indeed, all plaintiffs’ class action lawyers – can breathe a sigh of relief, as the Second Circuit’s decision substantially lessens their burden at the class certification stage.

Continue Reading Second Circuit Court of Appeals Holds That Supreme Court’s Comcast Decision Does Not Prohibit Class Certification Where Damages Are Not Measurable on a Classwide Basis

The D.C. Council has passed emergency legislation to address certain ambiguities in and other issues raised by D.C.’s Wage Theft Prevention Amendment Act, which takes effect on February 26, 2015.  As we noted last month, the Act’s language as previously written was unclear on whether exempt employees were subject to the Act’s heightened recordkeeping requirements.  The emergency legislation directly addresses this ambiguity, and makes clear that employers are not required to record the “precise time worked” for exempt employees.  In addition, the emergency resolution clarifies that employers are not required to pay “bona fide administrative, executive, and professional” employees at least twice per month, but rather must pay such employees at least once per month.

Continue Reading Emergency Legislation to DC’s Wage Theft Law Clarifies That Exempt Employees Are Not Subject to Heightened Recordkeeping Requirements