HR Legalist

HR Legalist

Employment Law Updates
& Best Practices for Employers

Class Action Settlement Reminds Restaurant Industry of the Notice Requirements for Paying Tipped Workers

Posted in Fair Labor Standards Act

The minimum wage requirements under the Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA), as well as many state laws including Pennsylvania, allow tipped workers to be paid a lower hourly rate than non-tipped workers. However, those laws require companies to comply with a strict set of requirements in order to take advantage of that lower rate. Failure to do so can lead to expensive litigation, as demonstrated by a $2.1 million class action settlement recently approved in Koenig v. Primanti Corp.[1] Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Class Arbitration Waivers

Posted in General Labor and Employment News and Updates

The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday decided Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, 16-285 (May 21, 2018), upholding employment contract provisions that require employees to arbitrate their disputes with the company individually rather than on a class-wide basis. This resolves a split among the circuit courts of appeals, creating certainty and uniformity for employers across the country. Continue Reading

New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Bill Passes – How will it Affect Your Organization?

Posted in Paid Sick Leave

On May 3, 2018, New Jersey became the tenth state to require employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave.  The new legislation, which will go into effect on October 29, 2018, preempts existing paid sick leave laws in 13 New Jersey municipalities, and introduces a statewide minimum amount of paid sick leave in the private sector.  This latest development is part of an expansion of employee rights under new Governor Phil Murphy and the Democrat-controlled state legislature, as predicted by HR Legalist. Continue Reading

Domino’s Pizza Delivery Drivers File Lawsuits Against Three Colorado Franchises

Posted in Fair Labor Standards Act

Three wage and hour lawsuits were filed recently by food delivery drivers as class and collective actions against three Colorado-based Domino’s Pizza franchise groups.  The lawsuits, which were “delivered” to federal court on April 20th and 21st, seek unpaid minimum wages and overtime based on an allegedly improper expense reimbursement formula for wear and tear on the drivers’ personal vehicles.  The lawsuits seek damages under both the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Colorado State wage and hour law. Continue Reading

Court Rules That UberBLACK Drivers Are Not Entitled to FLSA Protections Because They Are Independent Contractors

Posted in Fair Labor Standards Act

As Judge Baylson of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania noted at the beginning of his opinion, “[t]his case is the first to grant summary judgment on the question of whether drivers for UberBLACK are employees or independent contractors within the meaning of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and similar Pennsylvania state laws.”  Razak v. Uber Techs., Inc., Civil Action No. 16-573, 2018 WL 174467, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61230 (E.D. Pa. Apr. 11, 2018).  Although many of the cases against Uber are forced into arbitration, the plaintiffs in Razak had opted-out of arbitration through a procedure contained in Uber’s Service Agreement.  As a result, Uber has obtained a decision that may impact other cases brought against it under similar legal theories, and may impact other ride-sharing companies as well. Continue Reading

Employers Should Know This About Today’s Marijuana Laws

Posted in Medical Marijuana

Marijuana legalization can have a direct and lasting impact on employers; particularly, those with drug-free workplace policies.  Employers can be placed in a difficult position of trying to enforce these policies, while avoiding disability discrimination lawsuits by employees who use medical marijuana outside of the workplace. Even though marijuana is still illegal under federal law, many states have adopted laws that permit medical marijuana consumption and protect patients from discrimination in employment based on their status as medical marijuana users.  Continue Reading

Attorneys answer commonly asked questions about H-1B visa transfers

Posted in H-1B, Immigration

If an employer plans to hire an employee who is currently working for another US employer on a temporary working visa (such as an H-1B visa for highly skilled employees), the existing H-1B visa can be transferred by filing a visa transfer application. Here are some common questions about this process asked by employers and employees: Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Rules that Gender Identity Discrimination is Not Religious Freedom

Posted in Gender Identity, Religious Discrimination

On March 7, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reversed the dismissal of a gender identity discrimination lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)  against a Michigan funeral home under VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII).  The EEOC brought the case, EEOC v. R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, on behalf of Aimee Stephens, a transgender woman, and claimed that the funeral home’s owner terminated Ms. Stephens’ employment for religious reasons after she disclosed her intention to transition from male to female and dress as a woman at work. Continue Reading

US Department of Labor Still Actively Investigating Per Diem Payments in the Energy Industry

Posted in Fair Labor Standards Act, General Labor and Employment News and Updates

Over the past few years, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has investigated the misuse of per diem payments as a substitute for compensation in a number of industries. At a recent event for employment lawyers in Pittsburgh, an attorney with the DOL indicated that this is still an issue that they were actively investigating, especially within the energy industry where a strong demand has led to increased incentives to attract workers. This issue leads to possible non-compliance with the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq. Continue Reading