California Assembly Passes Bill Expanding Overtime Protection For Farmworkers – Decision Now Up To Governor
- Written by Gregory Blueford
Today, the California Assembly sent Governor Jerry Brown a bill which would expand the overtime rules for farmworkers. Assembly Bill 1066, which passed on a 44-32 vote, with 4 abstentions, brings farmworkers more in line with other industries, despite its vast differences from other industries, most notably its seasonality. Under existing law, farmworkers are entitled to overtime wages if they work more than 10 hours in a single day or on the seventh consecutive day. The new law would offer time-and-a-half pay for farmworkers who work more than 8 hours in a day or 40 in a week and double pay for working more than 12 hours in a day. As a result, the new law will put California farmers at an even greater competitive disadvantage compared to the vast majority of other states who continue to exempt farmworkers from overtime requirements.
The Odd Couple: Does the Department of Labor and Subway Compliance Agreement Necessarily Mean Increased Joint Liability For Subway?
- Written by Jacquelyn E. Larson
On July 26, 2016, Subway, known for its franchise of sandwich restaurant chains, entered into an agreement with the Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) Wage and Hour Division (“WHD”), with the hope that the Agreement will result in an increase in wage compliance at Subway franchises. The DOL anticipates that this Agreement will signal a new dedication to address significant wage compliance problems by cooperating directly with the employer. Employers, on the other hand, are holding their breath, waiting to see if such an Agreement will result in increased liability under the National Labor Relations Board’s (“NLRB”) joint liability standard.
The Agreement essentially only commits Subway, which the DOL states is the world’s largest franchisor, to compliance under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) laws that all employers are already bound to follow: laws including overtime and minimum wage requirements. The Agreement also provides that the WHD will provide compliance training materials; that Subway will share with the WHD its annual disclosures; and that both will meet quarterly to discuss compliance and ways to improve compliance, including using technology to improve aspects of payroll. Subway also agreed to “emphasize consequences” for non-compliance with its franchisees, and stated that it may “exercise its business judgment” in deciding how to address non-compliant franchisees.