Voters in the District of Columbia, Nebraska, and Nevada overwhelmingly approved minimum wage-related ballot initiatives during this year’s midterm elections. The political movement to establish a $15.00 minimum wage started in 2012 when 200 New York City fast food workers walked off the job demanding better pay and union rights. Despite inaction by the federal government in the subsequent decade, there continues to be bipartisan support for minimum wage increases, particularly at the state level, as illustrated by the success of these three ballot measures.
Continue Reading D.C., Nebraska, and Nevada Voters Approve Minimum Wage Increases

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

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

On June 15, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision on Viking River Cruises, Inc. v. Moriana (Case No. 20-1573) reversing the California Court of Appeal’s decision to affirm the denial of Viking’s motion to compel arbitration Moriana’s “individual” PAGA claim and to dismiss her other PAGA claims.
Continue Reading BREAKING:  Supreme Court Reverses California Court of Appeal in Viking River Cruises v. Moriana

The Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division and the National Labor Relations Board released a Memo of Understanding announcing that the two agencies will be collaborating “to strengthen the agencies’ partnership through greater coordination in information sharing, joint investigations and enforcement activity, training, education, and outreach.” The MOU took effect upon both agencies’ approval in early December and will remain in effect for five years.
Continue Reading DOL, NLRB Will Collaborate on Investigations, Share Information

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

On November 15, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear Robyn Morgan v. Sundance, Inc. (No. 21-326), a lawsuit from a fast-food worker who asserts that her employer waived its right to compel arbitration by engaging in litigation conduct inconsistent with its purported contractual right to arbitration.  By granting review, the Court is poised to resolve a circuit split as to whether a party must prove prejudice when arguing that the other party waived its right to arbitration by acting in a manner inconsistent with the arbitration agreement.  
Continue Reading U.S. Supreme Court Will Address Circuit Split on Arbitration Waiver

In December of 2020, the DOL under President Trump issued a final rule dispensing with the longstanding “80/20” tip credit rule—whereby an employer was only required to pay a tipped-employee the full minimum wage rate for non-tip producing work if the employee spent in excess of 20% of their workweek performing such work. In early 2021, the DOL under President Biden delayed the effective date of the Trump-era rule (initially until April 30, 2021, then again until December 31, 2021).
Continue Reading DOL Resurrects 80/20 Tip Rule; Now With More Bite