Court watchers following the ripple effects of groundbreaking wage and hour opinion Swales v. KLLM Transport Services, LLC, 985 F.3d 430 (5th Cir. 2021) (“Swales”) may have gained their first insight into the Supreme Court’s thought process following Chief Justice John Robert’s refusal to pause a conditional collective action certification in Maximus Inc. v. Thomas, et al., No. 22A164, currently pending in the Eastern District of Virginia and following this decision and a failed appeal from the Fourth Circuit.
Continue Reading Swales Has Minimal Impact in Maximus’s Bid to Pause Collective Action Pending Appeal

Just days ago, the highest court in Massachusetts—the Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”)— decided whether former food delivery drivers for GrubHub could escape their arbitration agreements and bring a wage and hour class action lawsuit in court. In excellent news for employers operating in the intrastate delivery sector, the SJC held that they could not. Archer v. GrubHub, Inc., SJC-13228. 2022 WL 2964639 (July 27, 2022) (“GrubHub II”).
Continue Reading Massachusetts High Court Decides Intrastate Delivery Drivers Unable to Ditch Their Arbitration Agreements

Our prior post discussed how Democrats in the House of Representatives sought to amend the Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as part of new proposed legislation called the “Wage Theft Prevention and Wage Recovery Act”. It concluded that the legislation, if enacted, would increase both the frequency and severity of not only FLSA collective actions but also of investigations and enforcement actions by the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division.
Continue Reading Assessing Wage and Hour Insurance Coverage Following Proposed FLSA Amendments

Earlier this month, Democrats in the House of Representatives introduced the “Wage Theft Prevention and Wage Recovery Act” (“Act”). This proposed legislation seeks to amend the Federal Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) in several key ways.
Continue Reading Proposed “Wage Theft” Amendment Could Dramatically Alter FLSA Rights & Remedies

The Massachusetts Personnel Records Law, M.G.L. chapter 149, § 52C gives employees the right to submit written rebuttals to any negative information contained in a personnel file if the employee truly disagrees with the content of the information. The written rebuttal then becomes a permanent feature of the employee’s personnel file. 
Continue Reading Massachusetts Employers Cautioned Regarding Performance Review Rebuttals

On December 13, 2021, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) issued its long-awaited decision determining that the Massachusetts Independent Contractor Statute, G.L. c. 149, § 148B (“Independent Contractor Statute”), which establishes the three-pronged “ABC” test used to classify workers as independent contractors or employees – and provides for a rebuttable presumption that workers are employees unless the purported employer proves otherwise – is not the applicable standard to determine whether an entity is a joint employer.
Continue Reading Massachusetts High Court Rules “ABC” Test Is Inapplicable To Joint Employer Status

A critical ruling in the world of franchising, in Haitayan v. 7-Eleven, Inc., 2021 WL 4078727 (C.D. Cal. Sept. 8, 2021), the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California applied the so-called Borello test to find that franchisees were independent contractors, instead of employees, for purposes of their claims for unpaid business expense reimbursements under California’s Labor Code section 2802.
Continue Reading 7-Eleven Franchisees are Independent Contractors Under Borello Test

On September 8, 2021, the House Education and Labor Committee issued proposed legislation in connection with the House’s new spending bill. Among other pro-union proposals issued in connection with the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, the proposed legislation seeks to amend the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) by banning class and collective action waivers.
Continue Reading Proposed Federal Legislation Quietly Threatens Viability of Class and Collective Action Waivers Through New House Spending Bill

Use of employee biometric data – including fingerprints, eye scans, voiceprints, and facial scans – continues to be a popular, yet legally risky, proposition for employers. Several states and municipalities have laws that specifically govern the use of biometric data, the highest profile of which is the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).
Continue Reading Amidst Uncertainty Surrounding the Scope of BIPA Liability, Hyatt Settles Employee Biometric Data Class Claims for $1.5 Million

On June 10, 2021, fifteen months into the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) has issued its first ‘emergency temporary standard’ (“ETS”) governing the impact of COVID-19 on health care workers.

The ETS broadly requires healthcare employers to conduct an internal safety assessment and develop a safety plan, which must be in writing for all employers with more than 10 employees. The ETS further delineates requirements relating to patient screening and management, health precautions, masks and PPE,  aerosol-generating procedures, physical distancing, physical barriers, cleaning and disinfection, ventilation, health screening, vaccination, employee training, anti-retaliation, record-keeping, reporting occurrences of COVID-19 transmission, and paying employees for periods of quarantine. Consistent with recent CDC guidance, the ETS also contains carve outs on employee mask-wearing requirements where employees are all vaccinated or where employees are given reasonable accommodations exempting them from mask-wearing and/or vaccination requirements.
Continue Reading OSHA’s New Safety Rule: Health Care Workers and Beyond