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Dykema Labor & Employment Law Blog

Dykema Labor & Employment Law Blog

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Final Countdown to Comply with Michigan’s Paid Medical Leave Act: Are Your Policies and Postings Ready?

The new Michigan Paid Medical Leave Act soon becomes effective—on March 29, 2019. By then, employers employing 50 or more employees must have policies in place allowing employees to use up to 40 hours of paid time for various specified reasons. See our prior eAlert on the topic for details.  Read More ›

DOL Finally Proposes New White Collar Exemption Regulations

The much awaited revised new regulations governing who qualifies for the FLSA white collar exemption has finally been revealed by the Department of Labor. It did so on March 8 by publishing an NPRM (“Notice of Proposed Rule Making”). In December of 2016, a Texas federal court entered a nationwide injunction halting the implementation of new regulations which would have dramatically increased the salary threshold for exempting most white collar employees from overtime. Since then, the White House changed occupants and the Department has been deliberating on how to respond to the injunction. After considering responses to information requests from stakeholders on possible directions to take, and a round of “listening sessions” held across the country, the Department has finally spoken.

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A New Year’s Resolution for Illinois Employers: Update Policies and Procedures to Comply with New Law Requiring Broad Expense Reimbursement Duties

Beginning on January 1, 2019, Illinois employers will—for the first time—have to reimburse employees for “all necessary expenditures or losses incurred by the employee within the employee’s scope of employment and directly related to services performed for the employer.” “Necessary expenditures” are defined as “all reasonable expenditures or losses required of the employee in the discharge of employment duties and that inure to the primary benefit of the employer.” The new law amends the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act (“IWPCA”). Prior to the amendment, expense reimbursements were not addressed in the IWPCA and its regulations. As a result, most employers did not treat reimbursements as covered “wages” under the statute.

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Michigan Legislature Amends State Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Acts

On December 4, 2018, the Michigan Legislature pared back the minimum wage and paid sick leave laws it passed last September in an effort to preclude those issues from being on the November ballot. Had the Legislature not adopted the language of the ballot initiatives legislation, the measures would have been on the November ballot and it would have needed a vote of three-fourths of each house to amend the law if adopted by the voters. By enacting the proposals directly, it only needed a simple majority to amend those laws. The strategy of using a lame-duck legislative session to amend the laws by a simple majority it passed just two months earlier has been viewed as controversial, but the outcome is welcomed by many in the business community. Read More ›

New California Employment Laws to Take Effect in January 2019 and Beyond

As in previous years, the California legislature kept  busy in 2018. As a result, a number of new and noteworthy employment laws will go into effect on January 1, 2019, and beyond. Much of the legislation stems from the #MeToo movement by strengthening harassment and discrimination protection, imposing broader anti-harassment training obligations, updating lactation accommodations and mandating female presence on boards of public companies. Other significant new laws concern employee compensation, related personnel issues and important clarifications due to ambiguities in laws that were passed last year, including the bans on asking about an applicant’s salary history and criminal history. Read More ›

United States Department of Labor Announces Regulatory Agenda

Last week, the Trump administration released the Fall 2018 Regulatory Agenda describing the intended regulatory activity among the various departments or agencies within the Federal Government. While the announcement itself does not provide any guidance (or even very many hints) regarding the potential content of the regulations proposed, they nonetheless are sufficient to put employers on alert of likely upcoming changes. Read More ›

Michigan Legislature Adopts Minimum Wage Increases and Paid Sick Leave: Political Poker Is Alive and Well in Michigan

After various court battles, two ballot initiatives were set to be on the November ballot for voter consideration. If passed, one would have increased the state minimum wage and the other would have required employers to provide sick leave to employees. Under Michigan law, though, the Legislature is permitted the opportunity to foreclose the issues from appearing on the ballot by adopting those initiatives through legislation.

Even though the Republican majority of both houses appeared philosophically opposed to the initiatives, on September 5 both houses voted to adopt both of them. Ironically, even though the Democratic minority appeared anxious to have the initiatives on the ballot, most Democrats voted against their adoption by the Legislature. Read More ›

San Antonio Passes Ordinance Requiring Paid Sick Leave

This morning, the San Antonio City Council approved a new city ordinance that requires employers to provide paid sick leave to employees who work at least 80 hours within the City of San Antonio per year. Employers with more than 15 employees must allow employees to earn up to one hour of paid sick leave per 30 hours worked, up to a cap of 64 hours of paid sick leave per year; employers with 15 or fewer employees must allow employees to similarly accrue paid sick leave up to a cap of 48 hours of paid sick leave per year. Employees who terminate employment but return to the employer within six months are entitled to any earned sick leave that was available to them as of their termination date.  Read More ›

Wake up and Smell the Coffee: California Supreme Court Limits Use of the De Minimus Doctrine as a Defense to Claims for Small Amounts of Unpaid Wages

Except in limited circumstances, Employers in California can no longer avoid liability for unpaid wages even if the unpaid amounts are de minimus, or “trivially small.” Despite never being officially enacted into law, many California employers have relied on the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) de minimus doctrine in defending claims brought by employees claiming to have worked off-the-clock. The de minimus doctrine is an application of the maxim de minimus non curate lex, meaning “the law does not concern itself with trifles.” The de minimis doctrine holds that “alleged working time need not be paid if it is trivially small: ‘[A] few seconds or minutes of work beyond the scheduled working hours… may be disregarded.’” In the context of off-the-clock claims, employers have used it to defend compensating employees for work performed off the clock in such small amounts that it would be administratively difficult to record. Most commonly, this applied to work time of fewer than 10 minutes. Read More ›

Clarity on Legality of Work Rules Under NLRA has Arrived!

Last month, in an effort to clarify what types of employee handbook rules are lawful under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”), the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) issued new Guidance on the topic. Determining which rules are permissible and which may violate the NLRA has troubled both union and non-union employers in recent years due to the Obama-era NLRB’s tendency to find that standard handbook rules (e.g. those on basic civility, insubordination, confidentiality, etc.) violate employees’ rights to engage in “concerted activity” for “mutual aid and protection” under Section 7 of the NLRA. Read More ›