On January 26, 2023, in the long-awaited opinion in Mothering Justice v. Attorney General, a three-judge panel of the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled, in a 3–0 opinion, that the Michigan Paid Medical Leave Act (PMLA) and Michigan Improved Workforce Opportunity Wage Act, as implemented in March 2019, will remain in place.
Is the time during which employees were scheduled to be at work but could not be due to poor weather conditions compensable? That depends.
On January 10, 2023, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock approved an ordinance (File No. 22-1614) passed by the Denver City Council that will provide new avenues for workers in the City and County of Denver to pursue claims for wage theft.
Employers in Albany County, New York, will soon be required to disclose expected pay ranges in job postings under a new pay transparency law. The law, which is expected to go into effect on March 9, 2023, adds Albany County to the growing list of jurisdictions across New York State with similar pay transparency requirements.
Connecticut employers have seen a significant increase in legislation affecting their businesses over the last few years. The Connecticut General Assembly does not show any signs of slowing down. A slew of labor and employment bills have been proposed in the 2023 legislative session.
The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) recently released the 2023 Publication and Yearly Calculation of Adjusted Labor Compensation Order (2023 PAY CALC Order). The 2023 PAY CALC Order has increased the compensation thresholds applicable to a variety of Colorado wage-and-hour and workplace requirements.
For many employers in Massachusetts, remote work has become part of the new normal, with nearly a quarter of employees in the state having worked remotely in 2021, according to one recent media report. While such arrangements can be convenient and even allow for cost savings, they present novel challenges for employers, including whether and how to reimburse employees (including nonexempt and exempt employees) for various travel-related expenses.
On December 30, 2022, a Sacramento County Superior Court judge issued a temporary restraining order blocking the State of California—in particular, the California Department of Industrial Relations—from implementing the provisions of Assembly Bill (AB) No. 257, the Fast Food Accountability and Standards Recovery Act (FAST Recovery Act).
On September 13, 2022, the German Federal Labor Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht) ruled (1 ABR 22/21) that employers are required to record the working hours of their employees. According to the Federal Labor Court, a comprehensive obligation to record working hours cannot be derived from the Working Hours Act; however, such an obligation follows from the mandatory interpretation of occupational health and safety regulations in conformity with European law. The decision of the Federal Labor Court has caused uncertainty among employers.
On December 15, 2022, the Oregon Supreme Court gave employers important clarity regarding the compensability of time spent in post-shift security screenings.
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.
In early November 2022, nearly 74 percent of D.C. voters approved Initiative 82, the “District of Columbia Tip Credit Elimination Act,” which will gradually eliminate use of the tip credit in the District of Columbia by 2027.
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.
Every year, the commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry announces the inflation-adjusted minimum wage rate.
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.”
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.
On November 1, 2022, New York City’s pay transparency law went into effect, requiring most employers in New York City to post salary ranges in job advertisements, including postings for internal opportunities.
In the wake of the #MeToo movement, pay transparency laws began to crop up around the country. These laws often require companies to post or disclose pay ranges for available jobs and are aimed at closing pay gaps and ensuring pay equity.
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.
This fall and winter season, employers in Germany have several developments in German employment law to put on their radars, including optional bonus pay due to the spike in energy costs; workplace safety and health measures related to heat, and separately, COVID-19; and annual leave entitlements.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
The 2023 minimum wage rate in Washington State will increase to $15.74 per hour for employees sixteen years of age and older, the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries announced on September 30, 2022.
Hurricane Ian is expected to make landfall somewhere between Tampa, Florida, and the Florida panhandle this week as a Category 4 hurricane according to the National Hurricane Center.
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.
On September 30, 2022, the minimum wage in Florida will increase from $10 per hour to $11 per hour for standard employees and from $6.98 per hour to $7.98 per hour for tipped workers. This increase is part of the state’s plan to raise the rate to $15 per hour by 2026.