Mexico’s Minimum Wage Set to Increase on January 1, 2023

On December 1, 2022, Mexican President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador announced that, unanimously, the business and labor sectors, as well as the government, had agreed to increase the minimum wage by 20 percent for 2023, which will be applicable in the Free Zone of the Northern Border (Zona Libre de la Frontera Norte or ZLFN), as well as the wage applicable in the rest of the country.

Overemployed? The Growing Trend of Remote Workers Secretly Working Multiple Jobs

The COVID-19 pandemic forced countless businesses to transition their employees to remote work, and through this process, many learned that remote work can offer multiple advantages, including increased employee productivity and morale and decreased expense associated with commercial office space and employee parking. Even those companies continuing to prefer an in-person presence have permitted at least some remote work on a hybrid basis, if only to remain competitive in a tight labor market. Lurking in the background is the unavoidable suspicion that at least some remote workers are taking advantage of the situation, and, indeed, some are—and in a surprising way. An increasing number of remote employees are working multiple jobs at the same time, so much so that the phenomenon is now referred to as “overemployed.”

Federal Court Finds In-Home Caregivers Were Employees, Not Independent Contractors, Under ‘Economic Realities/Control’ Test

Issues related to whether individuals are independent contractors or employees receive significant attention by employers and governmental entities because of the critical impact of misclassification. The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) recently published proposed rule restricting when individuals can be considered independent contractors is an example of this scrutiny.

1 More Hour of Sleep but 4 More Wage and Hour Problems as Daylight Saving Time Ends

On Sunday, November 6, 2022, at 2:00 a.m., daylight saving time will end. This World War I–era practice of turning back the clock one hour in the fall became a federal law in the United States when President Lyndon Johnson signed the Uniform Time Act in 1966. The jury is still out on whether “falling back” is beneficial. Claims that it helps to conserve energy are dubious. Most people probably don’t get an extra hour of sleep that night. And, the time change doesn’t actually increase the number of hours of sunlight per day. However, it does present a good opportunity for employers to examine their timekeeping practices with regard to nonexempt employees.

Supreme Court Questions Whether Highly Compensated Oil Rig Worker Is Overtime Exempt

On October 12, 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral arguments in a case regarding whether an oil rig worker who performed supervisory duties and was paid more than $200,000 per year on a day rate basis is exempt from the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Supreme Court Sends Federal Arbitration Act Interstate Commerce Exemption Issue Back to Ninth Circuit

On October 17, 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States vacated a Ninth Circuit ruling addressing the scope of the “transportation worker” exemption from the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). The FAA generally requires enforcement of arbitration agreements but exempts “transportation workers” from the statute’s application.

DOL Proposes New Multifactor Rule for Determining Independent Contractor Status

On October 11, 2022, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) unveiled a new proposed rule that could make it more difficult for workers to be classified as independent contractors under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The proposed rule, which would rescind and replace a prior rule published in January 2021, would shift the analysis of whether a worker is an employee of a business for purposes of the FLSA from a more streamlined “economic reality” test to a more complex “totality-of-the-circumstances” standard.

California Federal Judge Applies Viking River to Dismiss Representative PAGA Claims

In Johnson v. Lowe’s Home Centers, LLC, a decision issued on September 21, 2022, a federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California issued an order compelling arbitration of a plaintiff’s individual claims under the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) and dismissing the remaining representative PAGA claims.

California Appellate Court Affirms Attorneys’ Fees for Meal and Rest Break Claims

On September 12, 2022, the California Court of Appeal held that employees bringing successful rest break and meal period claims are entitled to recover attorneys’ fees under California Labor Code section 218.5. The decision reversed a prior denial of attorneys’ fees by the appellate court following the Supreme Court of California’s May 2022 decision in Naranjo v. Spectrum Security Services, Inc.

New Federal Labor Court Ruling: Legal Obligation for Employers in Germany to Record Working Time

A recent decision of the German Federal Labor Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht) shows yet again that the issue of working time remains highly fraught for German employers. Following a 2019 ruling of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) setting forth an obligation on the part of European Union employers to establish objective, reliable, and accessible systems for recording their employees’ daily working time, the subject of working time became a widely discussed topic throughout Germany. The Federal Labor Court effectively put an end to such discussions with its decision of September 13, 2022.

Stabilizing Employment Through State Unemployment Workshare Programs

Employers may be able to alleviate some of the stress and burden associated with economic downturns by working with state unemployment agencies and using workshare programs. Workshare programs allow employers to enter into agreements with state unemployment agencies to reduce employee hours without laying off employees or disqualifying them from state unemployment compensation benefits to supplement their reduced wages.

California Governor Marks Labor Day 2022 by Signing FAST Recovery Act Into Law

On September 5, 2022, California Governor Gavin Newsom marked Labor Day 2022 by signing Assembly Bill (AB) No. 257, the Fast Food Accountability and Standards Recovery Act (FAST Recovery Act), into law. The new law creates the Fast Food Council within the California Department of Industrial Relations, which is tasked with setting minimum standards for fast-food industry workers related to wages, health and safety conditions, security in the workplace, the time off from work for protected purposes, and protections from discrimination and harassment.

On-Demand Pay: Employees Love It, But Tax Implications Linger

Research suggests that more than 60 percent of U.S. workers would like to be able to access their earnings before their regularly scheduled paydays. Responding to this desire, many employers and their payroll providers now offer so-called on-demand pay arrangements that allow employees to receive their wages the same day they earn it. While on-demand pay may be a valuable recruiting and retention tool for employers, the immediate availability of wages carries with it certain tax implications for employers that may not easily be avoided without updates to the tax laws and regulations.

California Bill Aimed at Providing Increased Rights to Fast-Food Workers Sent to Governor for Signature

On August 29, 2022, the California Legislature passed a heavily amended version of Assembly Bill (AB) No. 257, the Fast Food Accountability and Standards Recovery Act (FAST Recovery Act), which would provide increased rights to California’s more than 500,000 fast-food workers. The bill is now headed to Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk.

District of Columbia’s Tipped Wage Workers Fairness Amendment Act: Mandatory Training and Notice Requirements Take Effect

In 2018, the District of Columbia enacted the Tipped Wage Workers Fairness Amendment Act (TWWF), preserving the use of the tip credit in the District, but imposing significant obligations on employers that employ tipped employees, such as mandatory sexual harassment prevention training and notice requirements. Certain aspects of the TWWF are only now being implemented.

 

2022 Changes to Michigan’s Paid Medical Leave: ‘Back to the Future’? Well, Not So Fast!

Earlier today, the Michigan Court of Claims issued a stay of its July 19, 2022, decision in Mothering Justice v. Nessel that had reinstated ballot initiatives that would have drastically changed the state’s paid medical leave and minimum wage laws. The stay is in place until February 19, 2023. This means that the adopted and amended versions of these laws will remain in place for now.