It was a busy January 2020 in Trenton, with the state enacting several new employment laws, with more apparently on the way. This is in addition to the slew of new laws adopted in 2019 impacting New Jersey employers. Here’s a summary of recent employment law developments in New Jersey just one month into 2020, a look at what may be on the way, and a recap of 2019’s changes.
Now a little more than one month into the new year, Illinois employers are under pressure to comply with several new laws increasing protections against discrimination and harassment. Among them, amendments to the Illinois Human Rights Act require employers to provide sexual harassment prevention training before December 31, 2020, and each calendar year after that. New guidance published January 31, 2020, by the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) clarifies key aspects of the new law.
In Caesars Entertainment d/b/a Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino, Case 28-CA-060841 (December 16, 2019), the National Labor Relations Board ruled that employees do not have a statutory right under the National Labor Relations Act to use their employer’s email system or other information technology (IT) resources for Section 7 purposes, such as union organizing.
On November 20, 2019, the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) Office of the General Counsel granted an appeal filed by the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation (NRTWLDF) on behalf of a hotel housekeeper in Seattle finding that a neutrality agreement arguably violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and that the hotel’s recognition of the union pursuant to that agreement was unlawful.
On April 6, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2018-3 in an effort to clarify the tip pooling amendments in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Among the hardest-to-find workers in America today are restaurant and retail workers. The current labor market is the tightest in 49 years, and for the past year, there have been roughly a million more open positions in the United States than people looking for work. The hospitality sector always has faced recruitment challenges, but the recently shrinking applicant pool has forced employers to look for creative ways to lure workers to jobs in the food service and retail industries.
In a ruling that will have a significant impact on the retail and restaurant industries, among others in California, the California Court of Appeal ruled that a retail employer’s call-in scheduling policy—in which employees were required to call the employer in advance of a shift to find out if they needed to show up for
In June 2018, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law An Act Relative to Minimum Wage, Paid Family Medical Leave and the Sales Tax Holiday.
Philadelphia enters the predictive scheduling mix with its newly signed Fair Workweek Employment Standards Ordinance, which will become effective January 1, 2020.
Effective December 31, 2018, the salary basis thresholds for some executive and administrative exempt employees, the minimum wage rate, and the permitted tip credits and uniform maintenance pay, among other things, will increase.
On November 8, 2018, the Department of Labor (DOL) gave hospitality employers good news when it retracted its “80/20 rule,” which prevented employers from taking the tip credit when tipped employees spent more than 20 percent of their working time on non-tipped work.
Bringing at least temporary relief to hundreds of businesses operating in Arizona, the state’s presiding disciplinary judge entered an order suspending Arizona attorney Peter Strojnik from the practice of law on an indefinite basis.
It is quite common in the hospitality industry for employers to pay tipped employees a cash wage that is less than the required minimum wage. This practice is permissible under the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) tip credit provisions.
With just weeks left before the start of summer, employers in the U.S. Virgin Islands may wish to ensure that they are in compliance with applicable laws governing wage payments. Effective June 1, 2018, the Virgin Islands minimum wage will increase from $9.50 per hour to $10.50 per hour.
Restaurant owners have been anxiously awaiting the Department of Labor’s (DOL) guidance regarding proper participation and operation of tip pools after the passage of the March 23, 2018, Consolidated Appropriations Act, which contained a little notice amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Tip pooling regulations have undergone a series of reversals recently as the DOL has worked to find a one-size-fits-all regulation to apply to varying restaurant concepts.
On April 25, 2018, the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) issued proposed rules implementing Oregon’s predictive scheduling law, Senate Bill 828, which will take effect on July 1, 2018.
The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) has created new rules intended to protect hotel housekeepers. These new rules are contained in the newly-created Section 3345 in Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations and are intended to decrease the risk of musculoskeletal injuries and disorders to housekeepers in hotels and other lodging establishments.
With so many stories in the news of very high-level, high-profile men being accused of sexual harassment, many employers are rightfully concerned about whether they may be at risk of similar claims. While these stories have crossed various industries, restaurant employers may be at a higher risk than others for these types of claims. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), 37 percent of all sexual harassment charges filed with the agency were filed by employees in the restaurant industry—and there is some evidence that such harassment claims are underreported.
On December 14, 2017, in The Boeing Company, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) reversed the 2004 decision in Lutheran Heritage that had created an unworkable standard that had made most employee handbooks across the nation unlawful in the view of the Board.
In response to significant pressure from the hospitality industry—specifically, the restaurant industry—as well as increasing litigation and changes to reduce or eliminate the use of tip credits at the state level, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in the December 5, 2017, edition of the Federal Register, in which it proposes to rescind its 2011 regulations concerning tip pooling.
As we have previously reported, New York State’s Minimum Wage Orders set forth a schedule that provides for the automatic annual increase of, among other things, the salary basis thresholds for overtime exempt employees, the minimum wage applicable to all New York employers, and the permitted tip credits and uniform maintenance pay for New York hospitality employers.
Just as one flood of lawsuits against Arizona businesses finally dries up, another downpour begins. Peter Strojnik of Phoenix, the same attorney who filed more than 1,100 lawsuits that drew the attention of the Arizona attorney general, has filed approximately 60 new lawsuits under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) against motels and places of lodging in the last three months in federal court in Arizona.
As we previously reported, New York City retail and fast food employers must prepare for the Fair Workweek Law set to go into effect on November 26, 2017. On October 16, 2017 the Department of Consumer Affairs Office of Labor Policy and Standards (DCA) published much anticipated proposed rules to implement the Fair Workweek Law and provide needed guidance to covered employers.
In a recent, decision, the United States Tax Court determined that the pregame meals provided to Boston Bruins players and personnel at away games qualify as a de minimis fringe benefit under Section 274(n)(2)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code.
It’s that time of year again—many employers, especially retailers and hospitality employers, are hiring seasonal workers for the holiday shopping season. Despite the challenge of adding so many employees in a short period of time, human resources departments should be cautious of taking shortcuts with recruiting, onboarding, and training.
According to a recent report by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), women are less likely than men to incur workplace injuries, but the injuries reported by women are disproportionately unique to female employees.
The Trump administration is reportedly reviewing the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program, a popular cultural exchange program run by the U.S. Department of State, with the intention of making major reductions in the visa program.
Restaurant fortunes are often attributable to just one or two signature dishes, and recipe ownership dilemmas can arise in restaurants of all sizes. Recent examples include a joint venture gone awry, resulting in a war over the ownership of a salted caramel brownie recipe; the “Taco Bible” that a former employee allegedly stole and used at another taco restaurant nearby; and a well-known Australian chef demanding that his former employer cease serving the signature dish he created when he worked there.
In a welcome sea change for the hospitality industry, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced on July 20, 2017 that it would repeal the Obama administration’s 2011 regulations that severely curtailed tip pooling. The DOL further announced that, as it works to finalize the repeal, its investigators are barred from enforcing the Obama-era rule.
California’s Equal Restroom Access Act, which requires some establishments with single-occupancy restrooms to display signs indicating that the restroom is gender-neutral, has been in effect since March 1, 2017.