On Tuesday, President Obama submitted his proposed budget for the 2015 fiscal year. Obama’s budget would give the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) $11.8 billion in discretionary funding. While this $200 million increase in the DOL’s budget is not unusual, Obama’s proposal calls for an increase of more than $41 million for the Wage and Hour Division (WHD). This would increase the WHD’s budget nearly 18 percent from the previous year. The proposed increase is intended to allow the WHD to hire up to 300 new investigators to target employers and industries “most likely to break the law,” according to the administration’s summary of its funding request for the Labor Department.
Wage & Hour
WAGE AND HOUR ALERT!!!
Though water may not be flowing in California, employers need to be aware of a different type of flood: wage and hour lawsuits. As previously reported by The Saqui Law Group on September 3, 2013, agricultural employers who utilize piece-rate systems must separately account for and pay for non-productive time at no less than the applicable minimum wage rate. Employers need to become familiar with the recent case law interpreting the payment requirement for non-productive time in order to make sure they are following the correct practice and avoid the recent flurry of lawsuits.
Raise the Minimum Wage? Foes Say They'll Stop Tipping
The following was written by Ben Popken and appears on ABCNews.com
There's a surprise side order of sourpuss getting served up in the national argument over raising the minimum wage: discontented workers say they'll stop tipping when they go out to eat.
California Court of Appeal Interprets “Overtime” in Collective Bargaining Agreements
In Vranish v. Exxon Mobil Corporation, the California Court of Appeal ruled that the California Labor Code §510’s (“§510”) definition of “overtime” does not apply to the employees covered by a valid collective bargaining agreement (“CBA”).
Joint Employer Liability Lawsuits on the Rise
Source: Wal-Mart Can’t Get Win On Joint-Employer Status by Ben James (Law360)
Earlier this week, a California Federal Court Judge denied separate motions for summary judgment from Wal-Mart Stores East LP (“Wal-Mart”) and its warehouse operator, Schneider Logistics Transloading and Distribution, Inc. (“Schneider”). In the motions Wal-Mart and Schneider argued they are not joint employers for the purposes of the wage and hour violations brought against them by workers of a Schneider-operated distribution warehouse that supplies goods to Wal-Mart.
NLRB: Walmart threatened, fired workers for Black Friday protests
The following was written by Denali Tietjen and appeared in The Christian Science Monitor
Pressure on Walmart to raise employee wages is ratcheting up as the giant retailer approaches the crucial holiday season. While activists are planning bigger-than-ever protests for next week's Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales marathon, which traditionally kicks off the holiday-selling season, the federal government has also condemned Walmart for some of its actions at last year's Thanksgiving Day protests.
White House Supports Proposal to Raise Federal Minimum Wage to $10
As reported, Governor Jerry Brown recently signed a bill that will raise the minimum wage in California to $10 by 2016. Not to be outdone, the White House has thrown its support behind a new proposal to raise the federal minimum wage to at least $10 as well. The new bill is known as the Fair Minimum Wage Act, and it would increase minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10. The increase would take effect with three .95 cent increases over two years. Once the federal minimum wage hits $10.10, it will be indexed to inflation.
When is Commute Time Compensable?
Employers have fought long and hard to make sure that commute time to and from work remains non-compensable. And they won, for the most part. There are, however, instances when commute time is in fact compensable and may surprise an unsuspecting employer. So when does an employer need to compensate for the commute time? What other potential issues may arise when commute time is not properly paid for?
One of my employees quit without notifying their supervisor. What am I supposed to do with the employee's final pay? Do I contact the employee? Do I just mail the final pay to the address on file? Do I wait until the employee contacts the company?
California Amends Labor Code to Require “Recovery Periods”
Recently, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law SB 435 which amends Labor Code section 226.7 which requires employers to provide one hour of premium pay for a missed meal period and an additional one hour of premium pay for any missed rest break (if both rest breaks are missed the premium pay is one hour for both of missed rest breaks). Under the new law, if an employer fails to provide an employee a "recovery period" in accordance with state law, including, but not limited to, any applicable statute or applicable regulation, standard, or order of the Industrial Welfare Commission, the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board, or the Division of Occupational Safety and Health, the employer shall pay the employee one additional hour of pay at the employee's regular rate of compensation for each workday that the recovery period is not provided.
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