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DOL Issues Opinion Letters on Nondiscretionary Bonuses, Overtime Exemption Standards, and Rounding Time Under the FLSA

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July 1, 2019

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The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently announced new opinion letters from the Department’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) on calculating overtime pay for nondiscretionary bonuses and permissible rounding practices under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  Opinion letters are responses from the WHD to submitted queries, are primarily informative in nature, and are published by the WHD to clarify or interpret existing regulations.

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Alabama: New Pay Equity Law Prohibits Retaliation Related to Wage History Inquiries; Adds Equal Pay Provisions

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September 1, 2019

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The newly enacted Clarke-Figures Equal Pay Act (CFEPA) is Alabama’s first statewide pay equity law, and goes into effect on September 1, 2019.  The CFEPA takes its cues from the federal Equal Pay Act, but also includes provisions commonly seen in other state-level pay equity laws designed to combat discriminatory pay practices.

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Which Way is the Wind Blowing on Independent Contractors Lately?

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April 29, 2019

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The question always seems to be – which way is the wind blowing on independent contractors lately? The answer depends on who is asking and in what state they work. Most recently, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued an opinion letter indicating that gig economy workers who are part of the virtual marketplace are likely independent contractors, provided they meet the six-factor economic realities test. The DOL stated that a virtual marketplace company (VMC) “is an online and/or smartphone-based referral service that connects service providers to end-market consumers to provide a wide variety of services, such as transportation, delivery, shopping, moving, cleaning, plumbing, painting, and household services.” The role of VMC’s is to help consumers more readily connect with the services they are looking for.

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Colorado: Employers Can Face Potential Criminal Charges for Wage Violations

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January 1, 2020

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Employers who commit wage theft may be subject to increased penalties mandated in Colorado’s criminal theft statute, because HB19-1267 recently redefined “wage theft” as “criminal theft.” Specifically, willfully refusing to pay wages or falsely denying the amount of a wage claim is considered misdemeanor petty theft. If the wage amount is over $2,000, the violation is felony theft. By treating wage theft as a criminal act, employer fines (currently at $300 for failure to pay wages, or $500 for failure to pay minimum wage) could range from $50 to $1 million, depending on the circumstances of the crime.  This bill applies to all employers who are subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

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June Updates

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This Short List addresses the following topics:
  1. U.S. Supreme Court: Title VII Claims to the EEOC are Merely Procedural and Not Jurisdictional to Courts
  2. U.S. Supreme Court: State Wage and Hour Rules Don’t Apply to Workers on the Outer Continental Shelf
  3. DOL Issued Updated Poster for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors
  4. California: July 1st REMINDERS for Employers
  5. Emeryville, CA: July 1st Minimum Wage Increase Paused for Small Independent Restaurants
  6. Colorado: Wage Garnishment Reform on the Horizon
  7. Connecticut: Minimum Wage Increasing to $15 an Hour
  8. Minneapolis, MN: Sick and Safe Time Rule Is Still Up in the Air
  9. Kansas City, MO: Bans Pre-Employment Salary History Inquiries
  10. Nevada: Mandatory Safety Training Expanded to Trade Show and Convention Workers
  11. New Jersey: Required Workplace Postings Receive an Update
  12. Texas: Dallas and San Antonio Paid Sick Leave Set to Go into Effect August 1st

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EEO-1 Component 2 Reporting for 2017 AND 2018 is Due September 30, 2019

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May 1, 2019

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The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently issued reinstatement of EEO-1 expanded data collection requirements and posted notice on its website that EEO-1 filers are required to submit Component 2 data for calendar years 2017 AND 2018 by September 30, 2019. (EEO-1 filers include employers with one hundred or more employees as well as certain contractors with more than fifty employees.) This has been an ongoing issue since the requirement to collect Component 2 data was implemented in 2016, and the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) attempt to block its implementation in 2017. As previously reported, in Nat’l Women’s Law Ctr. v. Office of Mgmt. & Budget, a federal judge in the D.C. Circuit Court stated that the OMB failed to demonstrate good cause for staying the release of the updated EEO-1 report form.

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U.S. DOL Issues New Opinion Letters on Voluntary Delay or Extension of FMLA Leave, Volunteer Working Hours

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March 14, 2019

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On March 14, 2019, the United States Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division (WHD) issued two new opinion letters.  The first letter addresses whether or not employers may extend or delay designating paid leave as FMLA time off.  The second letter addresses whether an employee’s time participating in an optional volunteer program qualifies as hours worked under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  These opinion letters are responses from the WHD to submitted queries, are primarily informative in nature, and are published by the WHD to clarify or interpret existing regulations.

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New Jersey: Equal Pay Act Reporting Requirements Revised for Public Works Employers

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March 31, 2019

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A recent revision made by the New Jersey Department of Labor (NJ DOL) clarified Equal Pay Act data reporting requirements.  According to the NJ DOL, employers that provide services to public works for the state of New Jersey do not need to report equal pay data for all employees—just employees who perform the public work or provide qualifying services.

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Sixth Circuit: Off-Duty Law Enforcement Misclassified as Independent Contractors

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February 12, 2019

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In Acosta v. Off Duty Policy Services, Inc., the Sixth Circuit applied the six-factor “economic reality” test to determine whether off-duty officers were misclassified as independent contractors for purposes of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). There, the employer provided private security services using off-duty, sworn police officers, as well as nonsworn workers. The workers were allowed to accept or reject work assignments, were provided basic equipment, but had to supply their own vehicles and uniforms. The sworn officers typically wore their officer uniforms and used their patrol vehicles, while the nonsworn workers had to use their own police-style vehicle.

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