The current trend at both the state and federal levels is moving in the direction of mandatory paid family leave.  For example, in recent years, 6 states (California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Washington) and the District of Columbia have enacted mandatory paid family leave benefits for employees.  Moreover, at least 18 other states are currently considering some form of paid family leave legislation.

Continue Reading As State Paid Family Leave Laws Increase, U.S. Congress Considers Nationwide Paid Family Leave

If you are looking for options to lower your annual PBGC premiums and reduce overall pension liability including plan termination liability), a retiree lump-sum window may again be a viable option. De-risking strategies are methods a company can implement to reduce its pension plan’s administrative expenses, PBGC premiums and overall pension liability.

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The U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday issued its new proposal to amend the salary threshold for employees to qualify for the Fair Labor Standards Act’s white-collar exemptions from overtime pay requirements to $35,308 per year ($679 per week).

The much-anticipated proposed rule would raise the minimum annual salary requirement for the white-collar exemption to the Fair Labor Standards Act from $23,600, a level that has been in place since 2004.  The DOL estimates that the rule change will make just more than one million new employees eligible to earn overtime, assuming that employers do not increase employees’ salary levels to meet or exceed the new level.

Continue Reading DOL Proposes New Salary Threshold for White-Collar Overtime Exemptions

Our California labor and employment team has been nominated by Benchmark Litigation as a California – Labor & Employment Litigation Firm of the Year, and Partner Roland Juarez  has been nominated as a California – Labor & Employment Litigation Attorney of the Year.

Continue Reading Benchmark Litigation Shortlists Hunton Andrews Kurth’s California Office, Lawyer for Labor and Employment Litigation Awards

Employers breathed a collective sigh of relief in August 2017, when the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) announced it was staying the requirement that employers report W-2 wage information in the annual EEO-1 Report.   Now, though, the reprieve seems over.  On March 4, 2019, the District of Columbia Federal Court ruled that OMB improperly issued the stay without good cause, and put the wage report back into effect.  See National Women’s Law Center v OMB, No. 1:17-cv-2458 (D.D.C.  March 4, 2019).

Continue Reading EEO-1 Pay Data Revived By DC Federal Court

Historically, bank executives have faced civil liability for breach of contract and violations of state laws governing the misappropriation of trade secrets for misusing their employer’s confidential and proprietary information. However, a recent “notice of intent to prohibit” issued by the Federal Reserve indicates that bank executives may now face a much harsher consequence than mere civil liability for misappropriating their employers’ information — namely, a ban from the business of banking altogether.

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The Seventh Circuit recently upheld a local ordinance in Grande Chute, Wisconsin that banned all private signs on public rights-of-way despite challenges from a local labor union.

In 2014, the town of Grande Chute passed a zoning ordinance that banned all private signs on public rights-of-way.  Under the authority of the zoning ordinance, two town officials ordered a local chapter of the Construction and General Laborers’ Union to remove the labor union’s large, 12-foot inflatable rat, which, like other unions across the country, had become a longstanding feature of the Union’s strike tactics.  Specifically, the Union had placed the inflatable rat in a median across from a car dealership that it was targeting.

Continue Reading The Seventh Circuit Upholds City’s Ban on Union’s Inflatable Rat

Recently-introduced federal legislation could have a significant impact on equal pay class actions. On January 30, 2019, Democratic legislators reintroduced the Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R.7), which provides for various changes to the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (“EPA”).  Earlier versions of this bill, which was originally introduced in 1997, have all died in Congress. However, on February 26, 2019, the House Committee on Education and Labor voted in favor of H.R.7, which means the legislation will now be presented to the full House for a vote.

Some key features of the newly-proposed legislation include: Continue Reading Proposed Legislation Could Change the Landscape for Equal Pay Class Actions

We recently highlighted DOL opinion letter 2018-27, which rescinded the 80/20 rule and was a welcome change for employers in the restaurant industry.  However, less than two months after the DOL’s policy change, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri rejected the DOL’s new guidance, claiming it is “unpersuasive and unworthy” of deference.

As a refresher, the 80/20 rule requires businesses to pay tipped workers at least minimum wage (with no tip credit) for non-tip generating tasks when these tasks take up more than 20% of the tipped workers’ time.

Continue Reading Federal Court “Tips” the Scale in Favor of Restaurant Workers by Reviving 80/20 Rule

Two years after jointly issuing its 2016 Antitrust Guidance for Human Resource Professionals with the FTC, the DOJ is now taking active steps to clarify its stance on no-poaching agreements.  On January 25, 2019, the DOJ filed a Notice of Intent to File a Statement of Interest in three different class action lawsuits brought by employees of fast-food franchises against their employers alleging that no-poaching agreements in franchise agreements violate antitrust law.

Continue Reading No-Poaching Agreements May Not Be Entirely Out of the Question