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Category Archives: States

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MLB All-Star Weekend Volunteers Not Employees Under FLSA

Judge John G. Koeltl from the Southern District of New York has dismissed the minimum wage claims of an individual who served as a volunteer at last year’s Major League Baseball All Star Weekend FanFest, held at New York City’s Javits Center, based on the “amusement or recreational establishment” exemption.  Chen v. Major League Baseball,… Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Upholds Construction Industry Misclassification Statute

Illinois’ highest court upheld that state’s six year old statute imposing strict penalties for employee misclassification in the construction industry, the Illinois Employee Classification Act.  Bartlow v. Costigan, 2014 IL 115152 (Ill. 2014). In Bartlow, Rhonda and Jack Bartlow were partners in a roofing company who contested a finding under the Act made by the… Continue Reading

New York Legislature’s Second “Fair Play Act” Enacted to Cover Commercial Goods Transportation Industry

On the heels of similar legislation passed in 2010 for the construction industry, and consistent with the state’s continuing focus on alleged misclassification of service providers as independent contractors, the New York state legislature recently passed the Transportation Industry Fair Play Act, N.Y. Labor Law § 862 et seq.  This legislation creates a “presumption of… Continue Reading

On Re-argument, Judge Affirms Janitors Ineligible for Overtime Under New York Law

In a rare decision interpreting the New York State Department of Labor’s Wage Order applicable to the Building Services Industry, New York State Supreme Court Justice Barbara Jaffe recently revisited and confirmed her prior ruling that employees in a residential building who meet the Wage Order’s definition of “janitor” are not entitled to overtime pay… Continue Reading

Federal Appeals Court Affirms Ruling That Public Sector Union President Was “Volunteer” Outside Protection Of FLSA

Courts continue to wrestle with claims brought by individuals treated by businesses as  outside the scope of the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime requirements.  Many of these claims are asserted by individuals classified as volunteers and of course interns, all claiming to be employees entitled to the protections of the FLSA.  In one such case,… Continue Reading

Seattle Suburb’s Minimum Wage Legislation Fight Continues, Sets Up Appeal to State’s Highest Court

Warring factions continue to litigate over the legal viability of SeaTac, Washington’s Proposition One, a local ordinance increasing the minimum wage for work performed in SeaTac – a close suburb of Seattle and site of Sea-Tac airport – to a whopping $15/hour, considerably higher than the state minimum wage in Washington or any of the… Continue Reading

Second Circuit To Issue Important Guidance On Legal Standards Applicable To Unpaid Interns

Recognizing the need to provide clarity to the business community in light of voluminous litigation, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently agreed to hear appeals in the Fox and Hearst intern cases.  Glatt v. Fox Searchlight Pictures Inc., Case Number 13-2467, 11/26/13.  The Court will examine the different legal tests and… Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Requires Reimbursement of H2A Expenses

In the latest in a series of decisions addressing the proper allocation of travel and immigration fee expenses between employers and employees utilizing the H2A agricultural guestworker program, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (the largest federal circuit, encompassing Washington, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Nevada, California, Arizona, Alaska and Hawaii) ruled an employer must… Continue Reading

New York’s New Miscellaneous Wage Order Tip Credit Provision to Impact Businesses Such As Car Washes and Salons

As discussed in greater detail here, the New York State Department of Labor’s revised Wage Orders, which were published in the administrative record on October 9, 2013 and set to become final by the time New York’s December 31 minimum wage hike becomes effective, implement a number of changes to the pay requirements and credits… Continue Reading

New Jersey Amends State Constitution to Increase Minimum Wage

Overriding the March 2013 veto by Governor Chris Christie of a proposed bill increasing the state’s minimum wage, New Jersey’s Democratic legislative majority successfully pushed through a constitutional amendment through a voter referendum (not subject to gubernatorial veto) to increase the New Jersey minimum wage from $7.25/hour to $8.25/hour effective January 1, 2014. This request is… Continue Reading

Nevada Supreme Court Okays Tip Pooling

Providing guidance on some longstanding ambiguity regarding the meaning of Nevada’s statute on tip pooling, Nevada’s highest court ruled that an employer may impose mandatory tip pooling on employees and determine to which employees tips may be distributed. The Wynn casino’s tip pooling policy, which was reviewed by the Court and required pooled tips to be… Continue Reading

New York Department of Labor Provides Draft Wage Orders Implementing Minimum Wage Increase

The legislation setting forth a schedule for increasing New York’s minimum wage has numerous implications for the New York employer community. On October 9, 2013, the Department of Labor published proposed amended Wage Orders for all industries which are effective as of December 31, 2013.  The changes to the minimum wage implicate many facets of employee… Continue Reading

New York Department of Labor Finalizes Deductions Regulations

On the heels of the closure of the notice and comment period, during which the public and business community were invited to comment on the New York Department of Labor’s proposed regulations interpreting recently amended New York Labor Law 193 (governing permissible deductions from employee wages), the regulations have been finalized with an effective date… Continue Reading

Florida Judge Rejects Retaliation, Interference Claims Brought By Wait Staff

One defense commonly asserted to retaliation claims under the FLSA (and most other anti-retaliation statutes) is whether the complaint or activity allegedly leading to the alleged adverse action constituted “protected activity” under the relevant statute. Seeking to clarify this standard, a Florida District Court Judge found the alleged complaints were not sufficiently specific to constitute “protected… Continue Reading

Massachusetts Supreme Court Permits Common Law Claims for Alleged Unpaid Wages

Rejecting a legal theory widely accepted in many jurisdictions, namely that statutory wage-and-hour laws are intended to preempt claims for alleged unpaid compensation brought pursuant to older, less-specific common law theories, the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled last month that an employee whose wage claims may well be time barred under the Massachusetts Wage Act can… Continue Reading

Following Woody Woo, Federal Court In Utah Rejects Employee Gratuity Claim Since No Tip Credit Taken

Joining several other recent federal court decisions, including a decision invalidating recently promulgated Department of Labor regulations purporting to address the issue, Judge Ted Stewart of the District of Utah has ruled that an employee has no claim for allegedly misappropriated gratuities under the FLSA unless the employer elected to take the tip credit set… Continue Reading

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Issues Employee-Friendly Decisions

In two decisions issued this spring, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, reversed decisions issued by Massachusetts lower courts and broadly interpreted the scope of Massachusetts wage law with respect to its extra-territorial reach and potential individual liability for violations. Taylor v. Eastern Connection Operating, Inc., 465 Mass. 191 (Mass. 2013); Cook v. Patient Edu, LLC,… Continue Reading