On August 14, 2023, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit issued a decision—Marcus v. American Contract Bridge League—clarifying and applying the standards for determining whether an employee qualifies for the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) administrative exemption, and thus whether the employee is entitled to overtime payments under the FLSA.
Rhode Island Governor Daniel McKee has signed a bill that prohibits the use of nondisclosure or non-disparagement agreements regarding civil rights abuses “as a condition of employment.” According to a recent update to the legislature’s website, the bill was signed on June 22, 2023. Quick Hits The Rhode Island governor signed a bill that prohibits
On June 1, 2023, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a Local Emphasis Program (LEP) impacting “seafood processing operations and related merchant wholesaler operations in two targeted North American Industry Classification System codes (NAICS): 311710, 311711 and 311712 Seafood Product Preparation and Packaging, and 424460 Fish and Seafood Merchant Wholesalers.”
The Rhode Island legislature recently moved two bills forward that would limit employers’ use of restrictive covenants with employees. On June 19, 2023, the Rhode Island House of Representatives passed a bill, Senate Bill (S) 0342, that would prohibit the use of nondisclosure or non-disparagement agreements regarding civil rights abuses, sending it to the governor’s desk for signature. The move comes one week after the state Senate passed Senate Bill (S) 0888, which is being considered by the House now, to expand the state’s ban on noncompete agreements to apply to agreements with nearly all employees.
Connecticut, Indiana, New York, Rhode Island, and Utah are among the latest states to propose further limitations on the use of post-employment restrictive covenants. Connecticut’s House Bill (HB) 6594 and New York’s Senate Bill (S) 3100 would prohibit the use of noncompetes with a wide swath of employees and independent contractors. Indiana’s Senate Bill (SB) 7, Rhode Island’s House Bill (H) 5284, and Utah’s Senate Bill (SB) 170 are more narrow and would only prohibit the use of noncompetes for certain medical professionals.
Several state and local minimum wage rates will increase in 2023, with a majority of the changes effective on January 1, 2023. The following chart lists state and certain major locality minimum wage increases for 2023—and future years, if available—along with the related changes in the maximum tip credit and minimum cash wage for tipped employees.
On January 13, 2022, in Waters v. Day & Zimmermann NPS, Inc., the First Circuit Court of Appeals became the third federal appellate court to address the application of the Supreme Court of the United States’ decision in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California to Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) collective actions. Unlike the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, however, the First Circuit concluded that a federal court does have personal jurisdiction over claims asserted by nonresident opt-in plaintiffs. The First Circuit’s decision thus creates a split among federal appeals courts and raises the prospect that the Supreme Court will ultimately have to resolve the issue.
In 2022, while the federal minimum wage will remain at $7.25 per hour for non-tipped employees and $2.13 per hour for tipped employees, several states’ minimum wage rates will increase. The chart below lists the state (and certain major locality) minimum wage rate increases for 2022—and future years if available—along with the related changes in the maximum tip credit and minimum cash wage for tipped employees.
Healthcare and healthcare-related employers have not just been at the heart of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, they have also recently been on the battleground in the fight over mandatory vaccination. Multiple states and locales have enacted some form of a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination requirement. Many of these vaccination mandates are directed at healthcare workers and state employees. These mandates vary by locality as to where the mandates apply, to whom the mandates apply and in what contexts, and when exemptions apply. And, of course, the federal mandates announced in September 2021 loom in the background.
The issue of the proper application of the highly compensated employee exemption under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), as it applies to employees paid on a “day-rate” basis in the oil and gas industry, has been a hotly debated issue in recent years, especially in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Rhode Island Governor Daniel McKee signed pay equity legislation (H 5261A, S 0270A) that will go into effect on January 1, 2023. The new legislation amends Rhode Island’s existing pay equity law and contains the following key provisions.
On June 10, 2021, the First Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of a plaintiff’s lawsuit alleging, among other things, failure to pay wages under the Massachusetts Wage Act. In Rose v. RTN Federal Credit Union, the First Circuit held that the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA) preempted the plaintiff’s wage claims because she was a member of a union and because her employer, RTN Federal Credit Union, had an existing collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with the union that governed her wages and overtime pay.
States have been busy when it comes to marijuana laws. Before the mid-2010s, employers tended not to worry about state marijuana laws because of marijuana’s illegal status under federal law. However, those days are over, and state marijuana legalization laws continue to affect how employers can run their workplaces.
On March 30, 2021, in Bossé v. New York Life Insurance Co. et al., the First Circuit Court of Appeals issued an important decision upholding the enforceability of an arbitration agreement that delegates the arbitrability of claims to an arbitrator, and not a court.
In Burnett v. Ocean Properties, Ltd., et al., the First Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a jury verdict for the plaintiff in his failure to accommodate claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Maine Human Rights Act (MHRA). The court’s opinion provides a useful reference for the “single integrated employer” test for liability under the ADA. More significantly, it is an important reminder for employers regarding how seriously to evaluate accommodation requests, how promptly to respond to them, and how informed employees should be throughout the process. The First Circuit’s ruling shows that the consequences of failing to adequately respond to accommodation requests could lead to a finding that the employer acted with reckless indifference and is liable for punitive damages.
Elections in the United States are scheduled for Tuesday, November 3, 2020. Not only will the office of president of the United States be contested, but all 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and 35 of the 100 seats in the U.S. Senate are up for grabs. At the state level, elections will be held for the governorships of 11 U.S. states and 2 U.S. territories.