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Posts by Abad Lopez

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Showing 15 posts by Abad Lopez.

DOL Issues More FFCRA Compliance Guidance on Paid Leaves

Guidance Focuses on Concurrent Leave Issues, Hours to be Paid During Leaves, and Regular Rates of Pay Applicable

Now that covered employers are providing paid leaves under the Families First Coronavirus Act (the “FFCRA”), more questions about the FFCRA’s nuances are surfacing. In an effort to further guide employers who are trying to navigate the new law, the Department of Labor has added to its growing list of FAQs about the FFCRA, which includes clarification of some of its earlier answers. The substantive changes are contained in FAQs 80 through 88, in which the DOL focuses on the calculation of available leave time and regular rates of pay to be used for FFCRA paid leaves. The following will highlight these new guidance topics. Read More ›

In the Nick of Time: Department of Labor Issues Temporary Regulations Interpreting the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

On April 1, the DOL provided employers with further clarity on the FFCRA by publishing temporary regulations. These regulations will be effective from April 1, 2020, until December 31, 2020—the same effective period of the FFCRA. Also relevant to employers, the IRS issued guidance regarding the FFCRA tax credit. As with our other alerts on the FFCRA, the following highlights key aspects of the new regulations: Read More ›

January 1, 2020, Means New Pay Rules – Are You Ready?

On January 1, 2020, a number of new pay rules will become effective. While these changes may not directly impact many employees, they could cause pay compression under many compensation plans. Pay compression issues trigger employee morale issues, and adapting to those issues may mean that more than just those at the bottom of pay scales will need to have their pay adjusted. This ripple effect, of course, could be costly. Further, if the employees are covered by union contracts, how these new rates are rolled in, and whether pay compression concerns may be addressed, are mandatory subjects of bargaining. While a union contract cannot violate the law, the effects triggered by compliance are subjects of bargaining.

The following will briefly summarize what employers should be aware of and address in some form: Read More ›

Chicago Adopts “Fair Work Week Ordinance”

Expansive Law Aimed at Predictive Scheduling for Workers, Limiting Employers’ Ability to Unilaterally Change Work Hours

On July 24, 2019, the City of Chicago enacted the “Fair Work Week Ordinance,” requiring that many businesses provide workers with up to two-weeks advance notice of their work hours and schedules. The FWW Ordinance becomes effective on July 1, 2020, and will require employers from a broad spectrum of industries to set most employee schedules at least 10 days in advance. Read More ›

Freedom to Gig: New Department of Labor Opinion Bolsters Employers’ Ability to Classify “Virtual Workers” as Independent Contractors

The U.S. Department of Labor on Monday unveiled its first guidance under the current Administration on the hotly contested issue of employee-versus-independent contractor classification, saying workers for an unnamed technology platform that connects service providers with clients are independent contractors. The guidance was provided through an Administrator’s Opinion Letter, and as such it provides unique defenses to employers with similar situations and who rely on the letter. 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.

 Read More ›

Face/Off: The Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act Spawns a Wave of Class Action Lawsuits

After almost 10 years since its enactment, the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”) has spawned a new wave of litigation against employers centered on biometric timekeeping technology. BIPA was enacted to regulate the collection, use, storage, retention and destruction of biometric information, such as fingerprints and hand or face scans, among other things. Although the law’s primary focus was to protect consumer biometric information, the vast majority of recent class action lawsuits have been filed against employers that use biometric timeclocks, e.g., fingerprint and handprint machines, to track employee hours.

Although other states have enacted biometric privacy statutes, BIPA is the only biometric privacy law in the nation which allows for a private right of action and recovery of liquidated damages to any “person aggrieved.” Under the statute, a plaintiff may recover liquidated damages of up to $5,000 for each BIPA violation. Since at least 2015, more than 100 class action lawsuits have targeted employers primarily in Illinois state and federal courts. Read More ›

The Supreme Court Gives Employers the Green Light, Will No Longer Narrowly Construe FLSA Exemptions

On April 2, 2018, the United States Supreme Court in Encino Motor Cars, LLC v. Navarro, Justice Thomas writing for the majority, held that car dealership “service advisors” are “salesm[e]n… primarily engaged in… servicing automobiles” and therefore are exempt from the FLSA’s overtime requirements under 29 U.S.C. § 213(b)(10)(A). Significantly, in addition to issuing a ruling that is favorable to auto dealerships, the Court also provided useful language to all employers based on its view of how FLSA overtime exemptions should be construed. Read More ›

Seventh Circuit Confirms That Americans With Disabilities Act Does Not Require Extended Medical Leave as Accommodation

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) does not require employers to give workers more leave after their Family and Medical Leave Act allotment runs out, the Seventh Circuit said recently. The Court ruled that employers could fire a worker who requested an extended leave shortly before his scheduled return. It affirmed its prior holdings on this issue, holding that a multi-month additional leave is not a reasonable accommodation under the ADA. In this murky area for employers, the Seventh Circuit provided a degree of certainty regarding the interplay between the ADA and FMLA. Read More ›