Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Finds That Commissioned Salespeople Must Be Paid Overtime

On May 8, 2019, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) issued a unanimous opinion holding that salespeople who are paid solely on draws and commissions are entitled to separate and additional overtime and Sunday pay under Massachusetts law. The decision has far-reaching implications for most retailers, which have long relied on opinion letters from the Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards (DLS) suggesting that commissioned employees are not entitled to such additional compensation.

California Court of Appeal Identifies Triggers for Reporting Time Pay Obligation

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

Massachusetts Attorney General Issues Guidance on New Equal Pay Law

On March 1, 2018, the Massachusetts Attorney General (AG) issued detailed guidance on the amendments to the Massachusetts Equal Pay Act (MEPA), which are set to go into effect on July 1, 2018. The amendments, which were enacted in 2016, will overhaul MEPA, a law that has been in effect for over 70 years, and make it one of the strictest pay equity laws in the nation.

Title III Notice and Cure Bill Passes Initial Legislative Hurdle

The House of Representatives passed a bill on February 15, 2018, that requires Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Title III plaintiffs to provide businesses with notice and an opportunity to cure any barriers before filing suit. The Senate must also pass a version of the bill before it can be sent to the White House for signing. Senate passage is reported as uncertain.

New York State Department of Labor Issues Draft Regulations Restricting Call-In Pay Practices

On November 10, 2017, the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) released draft regulations that would amend the rules for scheduling employees covered by the Minimum Wage Order for Miscellaneous Industries and Occupations (Miscellaneous Wage Order). Specifically, the proposed rules would revise Sections 142-2.3 and 142-3.3 of the Miscellaneous Wage Order regarding call-in pay.

NYC Proposes Rules Implementing Fair Workweek Law: Spelling More Concerns for Retail and Fast Food Employers

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.

New Georgia Law Preempts Predictive Scheduling Ordinances

Georgia’s Minimum Wage Law (O.C.G.A. § 34-4-1 et seq.) already prohibits local governments from requiring employers to pay employees a wage rate that exceeds what is required under state or federal law. This same law also prohibits local governments from requiring employers to provide employment benefits not otherwise required by state or federal law.

Acosta Plans to Rescue Overtime Rule with Information Request

At a U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) budget hearing before the Subcommittee for Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies of the Appropriations Committee for the U.S. House of Representatives, Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta provided insight as to the Department of Labor’s plans “to look at the overtime [rule] as a general matter” and the salary level in the 2016 Part 541 rule.

Arizona Amends State Disabilities Act to Protect Businesses From Drive-by Lawsuits

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey just signed into law an amendment to the Arizonans with Disabilities Act (AzDA) designed to make it more difficult to bring lawsuits against businesses based on claims that they are not accessible to individuals with disabilities. The amendment requires potential plaintiffs to give business owners notice of alleged access violations and allows businesses 30-90 days to correct the issues before a lawsuit can be filed.

Commissioned California Employees Must Be Separately Compensated for Rest Periods

On February 28, 2017, the California Court of Appeal issued a significant decision in Vaquero v. Stoneledge Furniture LLC (No. B269657). The decision, which was certified for publication, is the first ruling by a California appellate court requiring employers to separately compensate commissioned employees—as opposed to employees paid by piece rate—for rest periods.

Arizona Judge Finds Standing Is a Must for Serial ADA Plaintiff, Dismisses More Than 1,100 Cases

An Arizona judge dismissed more than 1,100 lawsuits against Arizona businesses alleging that their parking lots are not accessible to persons with disabilities. Judge David M. Talamante rejected the plaintiffs’ argument that the Arizonans with Disabilities Act (AzDA) permits any person who believes a place of public accommodation has violated the act to bring a civil action.

Website Accessibility Epidemic Reaches Arizona

It was only a matter of time until the flood of litigation over the accessibility of websites to persons with disabilities reached Arizona. Recently it did when an Arizona man and his attorney filed lawsuits against four Arizona businesses alleging that their websites are not accessible to blind and visually impaired consumers in violation of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and the Arizonans with Disabilities Act (AzDA). All of the lawsuits were filed in the United States District Court for the District of Arizona by Joseph Charles on behalf of James Close, who claims to be a resident of Texas and legally blind.

Mind the (Pay) Gap: Retailers May Want to Prep for Pay Equity Inquiries From Investors

In 2016, several technology companies received or responded to proposals from investors that requested shareholder votes regarding whether the companies should be required to prepare reports addressing their policies and goals to reduce the gender pay gap. This year, shareholder activists are turning their sights on the retail industry, citing concerns with pay gaps across gender and racial lines. According to a January 10, 2017 report in Bloomberg News, pay equity-related shareholder resolutions have been submitted to several major retailers.

The Top 10 Labor and Employment Issues Retailers Will Face in 2017

The coming of a new year always presents uncertainty for retail employers on the labor and employment front, but particularly so this year with the coming of the Trump administration and Republican majority in Congress. Questions abound about whether and how the Trump administration will roll back the Obama administration’s executive orders and rulemaking in the employment arena, what the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) will look like and do, and how the Trump administration’s new appointments to the federal bench may shape the interpretation of laws impacting retail employers into the future.

Keeping the Scrooge Out of Seasonal Hiring: 6 Tips for Retailers

November and December account for a substantial portion of retail sales—up to 30 percent of annual sales for some businesses. And while there are reports that this holiday shopping season has been delayed due to the presidential election, sales are still expected to top last year’s. A survey conducted by the National Retail Federation predicts that retailers will hire almost 700,000 seasonal workers to meet their needs this holiday season.

A Reprieve for Arizona Businesses: State Judge Stays More Than 1,100 Cases by Serial ADA Plaintiff

On September 23, 2016, an Arizona judge granted at least a temporary reprieve to more than 1,100 Arizona businesses that have been beleaguered by lawsuits alleging that their parking lots lack sufficient accessible parking spaces for the disabled, or that spaces are not marked with adequate signage. The Honorable David M. Talamante entered an order consolidating and temporarily staying all of the cases that remain pending out of more than 1,500 cases filed in Arizona this year by a single plaintiff’s counsel, Peter Strojnik, and his affiliated clients alleging violations of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and the Arizonans with Disabilities Act (AzDA).