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Dykema Labor & Employment Law Blog

Dykema Labor & Employment Law Blog

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The Michigan Saga Continues: The Constitutional Validity of the New Michigan Paid Medical Leave Act and New Minimum Wage Law Heads to the Michigan Supreme Court

This past summer, two voter initiatives were headed to the November ballot for consideration. One initiative was to increase the state minimum wage, and the other was to create a state law requiring most employers to provide employees with paid sick leave. However, before such initiatives could appear on the ballot for voter consideration, in September 2018 the Michigan Legislature seized its constitutional right to enact those initiatives on its own, thereby keeping the initiatives off the ballot. Now, the Michigan Supreme Court will have the last word on whether the initiatives were properly enacted in their current form. Read More ›

Auto-Deduction for Employee Meal Breaks Can Work for Hospitals, but be Careful!

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, all employees must be paid overtime for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek. The law also requires employers to keep accurate records of all time worked. Many employers, though—particularly hospitals—often automatically deduct 30 minutes from their employees’ 8.5 workdays assuming that all employees take their regular 30-minute meal breaks. But what happens when an employee is interrupted during the employee’s meal break to answer a call, attend to a code or other emergency, and the like? This scenario has been fodder for lawsuits against hospitals, most recently in an Ohio federal court–Myers v. Marietta Memorial Hospital, No. 2:15-CV-2956 (S.D. Ohio March 27, 2019). Read More ›

No Fooling – DOL Seeks to Limit Joint Employer Liability with New 4-Factor Test

The U.S. Department of Labor is pressing ahead with its efforts to revamp the Fair Labor Standards Act regulations (we recently posted here regarding proposed changes to the Regular Rate of pay calculation regulations). On April 1, 2019, the DOL proposed a new four-factor test that would clarify when two employers are jointly responsible for minimum wage and overtime violations. Under this test, the DOL would consider whether the potential joint employer: Read More ›

DOL Proposes Another Major FLSA Rule Change: This Time on Calculating the “Regular Rate of Pay” for Overtime

Earlier this month, the DOL published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) to increase the minimum salary level most exempt employees must be paid in order for them to be deemed exempt from the FLSA’s overtime pay requirements. For a summary of that proposal, click here. The comment period for the proposed changes will close in late May, and it is anticipated that the salary level rules will be finalized and implemented in early 2020. This NPRM was “big news,” particularly in light of the 2016 national injunction barring the implementation of the Obama Administration’s attempted changes to the regulations.  Read More ›

EEO-1 Pay Data Rule Rollercoaster – Stay Tuned but Don’t Panic!

Following shifting executive policies, court decisions, and guidance on the EEO-1 Pay Date reporting requirement, the EEOC has now confirmed that the May 31, 2019 deadline to report pay data is officially on hold (for now).

By way of background, in 2016, under the Obama administration, the EEOC expanded its annual mandatory “Employer Information Report EEO-1” (EEO-1) form to require employers and federal contractors with 100 or more employees to include pay data, categorized by race, ethnicity and gender, in their reports (see Dykema’s previous update here). The EEOC also extended the reporting deadline for calendar year 2017 (the first year requiring the new pay data) to March 31, 2018. The expanded data collection sought to combat pay discrimination by identifying wage disparities Read More ›

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 ›