How do you pay your employees? Although payroll debit cards can be attractive to employers and employees, employers should proceed with caution when utilizing them. Employers cannot require their employees to receive wages on a payroll card; other alternatives, such as paper checks and direct deposit, must also be offered, and these requirements vary from state to state.
Historically, Pennsylvania has been a strict employment-at-will state. Very few employee attempts to create a cause of action have been found to implicate a public policy of the Commonwealth and, thus, give rise to a private right of suit. Recently, a former employee was permitted to use the Pennsylvania Prohibition of Excessive Overtime in Health Care Act as a vehicle for such a claim.
For most employers, knowing whether employees should be paid or not paid for lunches or breaks is a fairly straightforward determination. However, some nuances in this area pose landmines, if you aren’t careful. In Babcock v. Butler Cty., the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit – the federal appellate court with jurisdiction over Pennsylvania – was recently faced with one of these nuances in evaluating compensable meal time under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), and the Court’s determination is something which all employers who have various types of ‘on-call’ practices or who otherwise place contingent demands on their employees during breaks should probably have an understanding.
You may have heard that the concept of joint employment is getting its share of recent attention. First, the NLRB got involved, with its decision in Browning-Ferris industries, which we wrote about here. OSHA and the EEOC have been poking around in the area, too. Now, it appears to be the Department of Labor’s turn.
Like it or not, winter has finally arrived. During times of snowy and icy road conditions, employers will undoubtedly be faced with tardiness, absenteeism, and the possibility of implementing office and/or plant closures. One question that often arises during inclement weather is how to handle pay issues under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). If you find yourself in that boat snowmobile, read on!
Unpaid internship programs have become almost a prerequisite for many individuals entering the workforce today. However, due to the recent wave of class action lawsuits by unpaid interns asserting claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), many employers have been questioning whether to continue their internship programs. These lawsuits have become so pervasive that there is a website created and run by a law firm dedicated to filing such lawsuits. Some of the defendants in recent class actions include Viacom, Sony, Fox Searchlight, Hearst Corporation, NBC Universal, and Madison Square Garden Company.
On April 8, 2014, President Obama signed Executive Order 13665, amending section 202 of Executive Order 11246 which had previously prohibited employment discrimination by federal contractors based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and national origin. Executive Order 13665 added further protection for an employee’s or applicant’s inquiries, discussions, or disclosures regarding his or her own compensation or the compensation of another applicant or employee. This protection typically applies when the applicant or employee obtains this information through ordinary means such as a discussion or conversation with a co-worker.
When President Obama directed the Department of Labor last year to make its Fair Labor Standards Act overtime regulations simpler for businesses and workers to understand, many observers expected the agency to propose comprehensive revisions to the confusing “duties tests.” After all, the duties tests, which are part of the criteria an employer must satisfy to show that an employee is exempt from FLSA’s overtime and minimum wage requirements, are famous for their imprecision and indifference toward the realities of the American workplace.
It has been rumored for some time that the Department of Labor’s new overtime regulations would raise substantially the salary a worker must be paid in order to qualify for a white collar exemption. Monday evening, President Obama confirmed that the new DOL regulations will raise the required salary from $23,660 a year — where it has stood since 2004 — to $50,400 a year. The President said this change will expand overtime to five million additional workers, but some estimates place the number of affected workers much higher.